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‘Kennedy’ Name Returns To Congress As Joe Kennedy III Wins 4th District

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Joe Kennedy III with his father and stepmother on Election Day 2012 in Attleboro. (Photo courtesy: Joe Kennedy III-Twitter)

Joe Kennedy III with his father and stepmother on Election Day 2012 in Attleboro. (Photo courtesy: Joe Kennedy III-Twitter)

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NEWTON (CBS/AP) – Democrat Joe Kennedy III has beat out Republican Sean Bielat in the race to replace retiring Rep. Barney Frank.

Kennedy is the first of his famous political family’s generation to seek elective office.

He is the son of Joseph P. Kennedy II, who represented the state’s 8th Congressional District for six terms from 1987-1999, and the grandson of the late Robert F. Kennedy.

A graduate of Stanford University and Harvard Law School, and a Brookline resident, the younger Kennedy served in the Peace Corps, worked as a prosecutor in Massachusetts and in 2006 co-managed with his twin brother Matt the final campaign of their great-uncle, Sen. Edward Kennedy, who died of cancer in 2009.

The past two years marked the first time since the election of his great-uncle John F. Kennedy to the House in 1946 that a member of the Kennedy family had not served in elective office in Washington.

Kennedy released a statement applauding his opponent and vowing to continue his fight in Washington.

“Since the beginning, this campaign has been defined by a grassroots operation that refused to slow down or take one day for granted. We came together because we believe in the simple, American idea that hard work pays off; that each of us deserves the opportunity to succeed. That promise has guided me through this race and is what I will fight for every day down in Washington,” the statement said in part. “Our victory tonight is a testament to the incredible efforts of thousands of volunteers across the district that spent the past year working tirelessly for the country they believe in. I’d like to thank my opponent, Sean Bielat for a hard-fought campaign and for his lifelong commitment to public service, and wish him and his family the best. Tonight, I am proud to address the 4th District tonight as their next U.S. Congressman, humbled by the incredible show of support, and ready to get to work.”

Bielat, a Norfolk businessman who won plaudits from Republicans for a spirited campaign against Frank two years ago, was again the decided underdog in the election.

(TM and © Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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