BOSTON (CBS) – House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced on Thursday she is endorsing Rep. Joe Kennedy III over incumbent Ed Markey in the upcoming Massachusetts Senate primary.

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“Never before have the times demanded that we elect courageous leaders as today, which is why I’m pleased to join so many of my colleagues in endorsing Joe Kennedy III for Senate,” said Pelosi. “In 2018, when we took back the House, Joe campaigned across America to make that victory possible and that’s why so many of his supporters are Freshman Members of Congress who Joe helped elect. He knows that to achieve progressive change, you must be on the front lines leading movements of people. Massachusetts and America need Joe Kennedy’s courage and leadership in the Senate.”

Pelosi added that we are at a “watershed moment for our country” and Kennedy “represents this party’s future.”

“He will help lead Democrats forward on the defining battles of our time,” Pelosi said.

Markey released a statement following Pelosi’s endorsement.

“Speaker Nancy Pelosi is a tremendous, effective leader who has shattered glass ceilings throughout her career,” Markey said. “I had the privilege to work alongside Nancy in the House of Representatives for decades. Any candidate would be proud to have her endorsement, and I congratulate Congressman Kennedy on securing her support.”

The Massachusetts Democratic Senate primary is set to take place on September 1.

“I am honored to have Speaker Pelosi’s support in this race,” said Kennedy. “There is no one who has stood up to Donald Trump and defended our Party’s values and our country’s future more.  I’ve seen that bold leadership up close when she fought back against Republican’s attempts to gut American’s health care and then during impeachment in some of our country’s darkest days. She is a force and a changemaker, and I’m beyond grateful to have her in my corner.”

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