|Harrington Endorses Kennedy Run for U.S. Senate|
|By Tammy Daniels, iBerkshires Staff |
01:51PM / Sunday, November 10, 2019
|Berkshire District Attorney Andrea Harrington and U.S. Rep. Joseph Kennedy III visit 18 Degrees in North Adams on Saturday. The tour showed some of the work the family services center does along with a tour of Tapestry Health. |
Kennedy was later endorses for U.S. Senate by Harrington at an event in Pittsfield.
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — District Attorney Andrea Harrington became the latest Berkshire political leader to endorse U.S. Rep. Joseph Kennedy III for Senate.
Kennedy announced in September his decision to primary U.S. Sen. Edward Markey. The 39-year-old Democrat and grandson of Robert F. Kennedy said on Saturday morning that we're at "a moment of reckoning" in the country and his campaign will shine a spotlight on the things "we haven't done as well as we could have or should have."
The 4th District Democrat was in North Adams early on Saturday morning with Harrington to tour Tapestry Health's program on West Main Street and 18 Degrees' youth diversion program upstairs. Harrington formally announced her support later in the morning at Barrington Stage's offices on North Street in Pittsfield.
"We are in a moment right now, in Berkshire County in particular, where we need bold leaders that are calling us into the future and that are going to reform and I feel like with Kennedy as a senator, I will have a champion for the kinds of principles that I talked about during my campaign," the district attorney said. "People need harm reduction, bringing great mental health treatment for people that need it, basic medical care for people who struggle with substance use disorders.
"Kennedy was a prosecutor. And I think that he's gonna be a real voice for our community in the Senate."
Harrington ran and won office on a call for criminal justice reform, both in implementing the state's new laws in that area and in reconsidering prosecutions and incarcerations for low-level and youth crimes, and working to eliminate cash bail.
One of Kennedy's first stops in launching his Senate campaign had been in Pittsfield to pick up an endorsement from state Sen. Adam Hinds. His run has Berkshire Democrats splitting between the congressman and the 73-year-old Markey, who served in 38 years in the House before being elected the state's junior senator in 2013.
Markey's lined up both the Berkshires mayors, a number of Democratic activists, and state Rep. Tricia Farley-Bouvier, who hosted the co-sponsor of the Green New Deal last month at Dottie's Coffee Lounge.
On Saturday, Kennedy was again joined by Hinds and by Pittsfield City Councilors-elect Pete White, Dina Guiel Lampiasi, and Yuki Cohen, according to reports. Lampiasi works in the district attorney's office.
Prior to that, Kennedy said one of the reasons he was in North Adams was to do what a good campaign does: introduce himself and listen to what people need.
It was, he said, an opportunity to "offer my vision is what I think the United States should be and can be, how I would like to use that role to empower communities like North Adams."
"It's an introduction here, but it's the core of what a campaign is supposed to be about. And it's about showing up," Kennedy said. "It's about trying to champion the people that need it the most and it's about me explaining what I believe more of what a United States senator can be and should be to lift up those voices and fight for them every single day."
He said his career has been trying to fight for families who feel left out or left behind and that the underlying structures that enabled that need to be changed.
"[We have to] try to make sure that people believe that there's a government that's got their backs and that they have a contribution to make to their communities and to this country," Kennedy said. "Organizations like 18 Degrees and Tapestry understand what they are confronting on the front lines, of how they're empowering our community members to be able to stand up for folks that need a little bit of extra help ... that is extremely powerful."
Asked why he was challenging Markey, Kennedy intimated that he would be more aggressive than the junior senator, who he described as a good man whose contribution and service he appreciates.
"If you think we are in a moment of reckoning that begins with Donald Trump and forces us to really wonder whether things in this country are going as well as we thought they were, yes," he said. "So having the opportunity to run a campaign to shine a spotlight on some ways in which we haven't done as well as we could have or should have. ... If it's a little uncomfortable, then I think a little discomfort is a reasonable cost of trying to deliver the change we need."
Markey, however, is saying he's the "generational change," touting his endorsement by New York's U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, his Green New Deal co-sponsor and a progressive leader in the House, and pointing to his many years advocating for climate change solutions.
"The response I've gotten from across the commonwealth as I've been out and about has been extremely encouraging," Kennedy said.