Politics

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Just Endorsed Ed Markey

The firebrand freshman and Green New Deal co-author is throwing her weight behind the senator.


AP Photo/Charles Krupa

In case you had any doubts about just how different Joe Kennedy III’s bid to unseat Ed Markey might be from other campaigns from insurgent Democrats, the incumbent just scored an endorsement from his party’s most prominent young heavyweight: Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

In a video released Friday, the New York Congresswoman announced she’s supporting Markey’s 2020 re-election campaign, describing her Green New Deal ally as one of the senate’s “strongest progressives.”

“I am proud to enthusiastically support and endorse Senator Ed Markey for re-election to the United States Senate,” she says in the video. “Ed Markey is a strong and progressive champion for working families, not just in Massachusetts, but across the country.”

Markey and Ocasio-Cortez notably teamed up on the so-called Green New Deal, a plan to overhaul the nation’s energy production and invest in green jobs.

“In the fight to save our planet and unleash a clean energy future, I am proud to partner with Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and honored to have her endorsement for re-election,” Markey said in a statement through his campaign. “Climate change is the existential threat of our time, and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is the kind of generational leader we need to make the bold goals of the Green New Deal a reality. She is a champion of working people, a force for systems change, and a singular voice in the fight for a democracy that works for all Americans. I am so fortunate to call Alexandria my friend and colleague, and I am proud to have her support.”

Markey, 73, has been shoring up support over the past several weeks as Kennedy, the 38-year-old Democratic Congressman, has been publicly mulling a run against the senator.

Elizabeth Warren announced she was backing her colleague in the Senate in August—an uncomfortable situation, to be sure, as Kennedy, Warren’s former student at Harvard, has publicly supported Warren’s campaign for president. Markey has also promoted endorsements from Massachusetts Senate President Karen Spilka, House Speaker Robert DeLeo, and groups including the League of Conservation Voters Action Fund.

Ocasio-Cortez, who at 29 is the youngest ever woman in Congress, began her rise in the party by trouncing incumbent Democrat Joe Crowley, winning over voters with a message that said it was time for change and a fresh perspective on the office. Kennedy has hinted he’d present voters with a similar change-focused message.

Ayanna Pressley, an ally of Ocasio-Cortez’s who took also took her seat in a primary challenge against an incumbent, has yet to make an endorsement.

Markey already faces three other declared challengers: labor attorney Shannon Liss-Reardon, businessman Steve Pemberton, and former Republican Allen Waters. But Kennedy appears to pose the most serious threat: A Boston Globe/Suffolk University poll showed Kennedy with an edge over Markey in a hypothetical five-way primary.