Haverhill Democrats met Saturday for their annual breakfast, concluding with a straw vote showing attendees nearly evenly split between incumbent Sen. Edward J. Markey and challenger Rep. Joseph P. Kennedy III.
The breakfast, taking place online for the first time because of the pandemic, featured live appearances from the two senatorial candidates. Markey spoke first, outlining his platform.
“I’m running on justice. I’m running on environmental justice—that’s the green new deal. On healthcare justice for everyone. Medicare for all. Of criminal justice. We just have to end this school-to-prison pipeline,” he said.
Kennedy said the state needs a senator who remains close to the people he represents.
“I believe a senator can make a huge difference, but I don’t think you’re going to be able to lead that change—I don’t think you’re going to be able to force that change—if you are not here and you are not present, you are not connected to the needs of our community. I will bring you that,” he said.
In the straw poll, Kennedy received 50.9% of the vote to Markey’s 49.1 percent.
Local Democrats also heard from Alex Bausch, state director for the Joe Biden and Kamala Harris ticket and all local, but unopposed, candidates on the ballot. They included Congresswoman Lori Trahan, Governor’s Councilor Eileen Duff, state Sen. Diana DiZoglio, Reps. Linda Dean Campbell and Andy X. Vargas and representative candidate Christina Eckert.
Haverhill Democratic City Committee Chair William D. Cox Jr. also presented Distinguished Democrat awards to Vargas and committee members Thomas Grannemann, Margaret Toomey and Josiah Morrow.