Sen. Ed Markey picked up a significant endorsement a day before the incumbent’s televised debate against primary challenger U.S. Rep. Joe Kennedy III.
The Massachusetts Teachers Association (MTA), a labor group consisting of 110,000 teachers, faculty and professional staff, announced on Saturday, July 25, that it would endorse Markey to keep the seat he has held since 2013.
“Senator Ed Markey is a true champion of public education and working families,” MTA President Merrie Najimy said in a written statement. “He is doing everything possible to win the resources our public schools and colleges need to help create a stronger and more just Commonwealth – and we know that he will never let up.”
The group pointed to Markey’s consistent support for public schools in the Commonwealth, specifically citing his creation of the E-Rate program that helps schools and libraries improve telecommunication and broadband internet access across the country. E-Rate was launched through the Telecommunications Act of 1996, when Markey was a U.S. Representative for Massachusetts.
More recently, the MTA applauded his push for the Senate to pass the HEROES Act, a measure the group says would prevent educator layoffs and get students back in the classroom safely.
“He has deep respect for educators and knows that the teachers and education support professionals who have dedicated their lives to helping other people’s children learn must have a seat at the table when making education policy,” National Education Association President Lily Eskelsen García said in the statement.
Markey has received endorsements from other influential unions and organizations, including the American Federation of Teachers, the Progressive Democrats of America, the American Postal Workers Union (APWU) of Massachusetts and Planned Parenthood Advocacy Fund. Prominent elected officials including Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Sen. Chuck Schumer and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez have also backed Markey.
Kennedy has received the support of organizations and unions like the Professional Fire Fighters of Massachusetts, Massachusetts Laborers and Teamsters Local 25. The late civil rights icon and U.S. Rep. John Lewis endorsed Kennedy earlier in the year, as well as others including Rep. Joaquin Castro of Texas and Rep. David Cicilline of Rhode Island.
The pair will take the stage in a debate live on NBC10 Boston and necn at 7 p.m. on Sunday.