BOSTON (CBS/AP) — Record voter turnout is expected in Tuesday’s Massachusetts Primary, with the Senate race between Sen. Ed Markey and Rep. Joe Kennedy getting national attention.
Nearly a million ballots have already been cast in the primary with early voting and mail in ballots. The polls are open until 8 p.m. and then the counting will begin.
The Democratic Senate primary is the marquee matchup in this primary. Kennedy is hoping to become the next member of the famed political family to claim a seat in the Senate. Markey, who has been in Congress more than 40 years, has never lost a race in 47 years of public service.
Kennedy has promised “a new generation of leadership” in the Senate if elected. Markey has pitched himself as the true progressive, pointing to his introduction of the Green New Deal climate change initiative.
A number of recent polls have given Markey an edge in the race, but a Kennedy has never lost a campaign for Congress in Massachusetts. Both candidates have wrestled with the safest way to hold campaign events during the pandemic.
Tuesday’s primary will also decide the winner of the Republican senate primary pitting Kevin O’Connor, a lawyer, against fellow Republican Shiva Ayyadurai, who ran a failed campaign for Senate in 2018.
There are also races in four of the state’s nine congressional districts.
In the 1st Congressional District, Democratic incumbent Rep. Richard Neal is trying to fend off a challenge from Holyoke Mayor Alex Morse. Neal is the longest-serving member of the Massachusetts House delegation and is also chair of the powerful House Ways and Means Committee.
In the 4th Congressional District, Democratic voters will choose from seven candidates hoping to fill the seat left vacant by Kennedy’s decision to challenge Markey.
The candidates include Jake Auchincloss and Becky Grossman — both members of the Newton City Council — former Brookline select board member Jesse Mermell, City Year co-founder Alan Khazei, social epidemiologist Natalia Linos, former Wall Street regulator Isshane Lecky, and Ben Sigel, who worked for the Democratic National Campaign Committee
Two Republicans are also running for Kennedy’s seat — Julie Hall and David Rosa. Both are veterans and face an uphill challenge in a district that has historically supported Democrats.
In the 6th Congressional District, Democratic challengers Jamie Belsito and Angus McQuilken are hoping to oust incumbent Rep. Seth Moulton, a Marine Corps veteran and fellow Democrat who saw combat in Iraq and who mounted a brief campaign for president last year.
In the state’s 8th Congressional District Robbie Goldstein, a 36-year-old South Boston resident and infectious disease specialist and doctor at Massachusetts General Hospital, is challenging longtime incumbent U.S. Rep. Stephen Lynch. Lynch is a former iron worker, South Boston resident, and labor leader hoping to retain the seat he’s held since 2001.
(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)