Joseph Kennedy III: ‘I Ain't Running for Speaker'

Congressman Joseph Kennedy III left no doubt about his intentions when asked if he would consider seeking the House Speaker's gavel now that the Democrats have retaken the House.

"I ain't running for Speaker," Kennedy said at the Newton-Needham Regional Chamber's Fall Business Breakfast on Tuesday morning, in response to a question from the audience.

"Being the Speaker of the House is not a position to which I aspire at this moment," he added, noting that he has young children and wouldn't be able to put in the time needed to do the job right.

Kennedy, 38, is the grandson of U.S. Senator and former U.S. Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy. He gave the Democratic response to President Donald Trump's State of the Union address last year and is seen as a rising star in the party.

Unlike some other members of the Massachusetts delegation, he said he is supporting Nancy Pelosi for speaker.

"She's actually pretty good at her job," Kennedy said. But he said her approval is "by no means a done deal."

He also spoke about last week's midterm elections, saying it was a solid night for progressive policies and politics across the country.

"It was a good night," Kennedy said. "Was it a perfect night? No." 

He also said it was a big night for Massachusetts, given that the next Ways and Means and Rules committee chairs will both be from the state.

Kennedy ran unopposed in last week's election, winning a fourth term representing Massachusetts' 4th District, which covers mostly southern Massachusetts. He was first elected in 2012.

He said the key areas to watch in the next session will be health care, the economy and accountability.

"There is no question this White House is going to see a lot more accountability and oversight," he said.

Tuesday's breakfast was held at the Newton Marriott. NBC10 Boston's Latoyia Edwards served as the emcee.

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