BOSTON (CBS) — A day after officially tossing his hat into the race for Senate, Rep. Joe Kennedy hit the campaign trail. The 38-year-old spent the day meeting supporters in Pittsfield, Worcester, and New Bedford.

“If you look around our country, I’m not sure there has been a more urgent time to make the case that we need to change than now,” said Kennedy. “Given the realities that we confront in this country today — that the person [who] earns the most votes for being president should be our president and the electoral college. I believe in one of the most pressing issues for my generation here which is student loans debt.”

Incumbent Sen. Ed Markey also spent part of his day in Newton and in Boston drumming up support. He said he’s not afraid of Kennedy’s challenge in the upcoming race.

“I welcome Congressman Kennedy to this race and I hope that like Shannon Liss-Riordan and Steve Pemberton, he responds to my invitation that we have a huge climate crisis debate,” said Markey.

“I’m going to run on the big issues. I’ve been fighting for: the climate crisis, income inequality, and much stronger gun safety laws and access to education and healthcare for every child,” he added.

Markey also connected with Rep. Ayanna Pressley at a Mass. Democratic event; she said she’s staying neutral.

“Look, I’m biased, we have the best congressional delegation in the country. I am so grateful I get to serve on both of these men every day. I’ve legislated with both of them on everything from environmental justice to healthcare and I will continue to do that… I don’t plan to get involved in that race,” said Pressley.

Martini Jackson of Newton said the stakes are high. “Ed has been a real leader in the Senate and a lot of us were looking forward to working on Senate races outside of Massachusetts because if we don’t flip the Senate, we have not done anything. So I think for a lot of us this is very painful,” she said.

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