‘I’ve been a disrupter who gets things done’: Markey makes his pitch for reelection

U.S. Sen. Edward Markey is facing a primary challenge as he looks to secure another term. He sat down with 7NEWS to make his pitch for reelection as Massachusetts voters get ready to voice their choice.

“I’ve been a disrupter who gets things done,” Markey said. “I continue to do my best to be that person. to make the difference in terms of looking ahead and leading the way.

Markey has been representing Massachusetts in Washington D.C. for decades.

First elected in 1976 as a congressman, he is now serving as a senator.

But, he may be facing his toughest test yet as the Democratic field has narrowed down to him and a singular primary challenger — a man Markey has considered to be an ally for many years.

Congressman Joseph Kennedy III announced his intention to run in September.

“I’m in a race to make my case to the people of Massachusetts,” he said. “That I have led on the issues that they care about and I have delivered for them.”

RELATED: ‘Everything is on the line’: Congressman Kennedy makes his bid for the job of U.S. senator

When asked if he felt at all slighted by Kennedy’s decision to join the race, Markey said he takes it as a challenge.

“I just take this as a challenge for me to run on the issues of the future,” he said.

One of the issues he plans to focus on is the environment, which he says has been a priority for him since he was a boy.

“There was a purple haze on the Malden River and my mother said, ‘Do not swim in the Malden River,” Markey explained. “That was because the coal companies, the chemical companies, the rubber companies all used it as a dumping ground.”

The senator gained national attention in 2019 when he helped to introduce the Green New Deal — a plan that lays out extensive steps to tackle climate change.

Supporters of the bill call it bold.

President Trump calls it, a “high school term paper that got a low mark.”

But, Markey says that he believes in the plan and so do young voters.

“It’s always about the issues. When I introduced the Green New Deal with Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and then I was challenged in the senate race, she tweeted out, Senator Markey is the generational change that we have been waiting for.”

Markey also plans to build his campaign around his recent achievements such as increasing penalties on robocalls and securing federal funding for research into a universal flu vaccine and Alzheimer’s Disease.

“I fight the fights that I know that the people, not just in Malden, but in all the communities in Massachusetts would want me to fight every single day,” he said.

(Copyright (c) 2020 Sunbeam Television. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)