BOSTON -- Massachusetts voters wrote the final chapter in Sen. Ed Markey’s Cinderella story on Tuesday, electing to send him back to the U.S. Senate for another six-year term.
Many pundits wrote Markey off from fall 2019 through spring 2020, when his primary challenger, Rep. Joe Kennedy, enjoyed commanding leads in polls. However, as groups including Environment Massachusetts and Environment America reminded Bay Staters about Markey’s lengthy list of accomplishments, the senator made up ground, eventually winning both the primary and the general election.
“Ed Markey has been a champion for environmental causes since he first headed south to D.C. as a young Congressman more than 40 years ago,” said Wendy Wendlandt, the acting president of Environment America. “The Senate, Massachusetts and the United States would be worse off without Ed Markey in office -- especially on the environmental front. Even when people said it was a lost cause, our mindset was, ‘You always need to support your champions, because if you don’t, who will?’”
While Markey has focused on promoting clean energy and stopping global warming for decades, public awareness of this existential issue has burgeoned in recent years as unprecedented heat waves, wildfires and tropical weather systems have ravaged much of the United States. New research from Yale and George Mason Universities’ climate communications experts shows that a new high of 74 percent of Americans are now “alarmed,” “concerned,” or “cautious” about climate change -- clearly transcending partisanship to some degree.
“All Massachusetts residents, regardless of their political affiliation, can take comfort that Ed Markey will represent them and get things done in the U.S. Senate for six more years,” said Ben Hellerstein, the state director of Environment Massachusetts. “In these challenging times, when our environment is threatened by polluting industries and a changing climate, Markey’s proven leadership is more important than ever.”