Former U.S. Rep. Joe Kennedy III says he has no plans to run for office again anytime soon and has instead launched a new project aimed, in part, at supporting political races considered "unwinnable" by the Democratic Party.
Kennedy — who opted not to seek reelection last year in order to pursue an unsuccessful primary challenge to U.S. Sen. Edward Markey, a fellow Democrat — unveiled what he called the Groundwork Project in an email to supporters Wednesday.
Kennedy said as his time in Congress wound down, he weighed what could he do with the network of supporters, volunteers, donors, staffers and friends who supported him.
"With no plans to run for office again anytime soon, how can I re-channel the resources that I was so lucky to have toward people and causes that need and deserve this same kind of support?" Kennedy said in the email.
The answer, according to Kennedy, was to dedicate the bulk of the new group's time and resources to supporting organizers, advocates and activists on the ground — in Massachusetts and across the country.
"And we're going to look far beyond traditional 'battlegrounds' or political hotbeds, to places that political power circles tend to write off as unwinnable, or unworthy of time and attention," Kennedy said.
He said Democrats have to do a better job digging in and trying to build support over the long haul — an effort he said paid off in Georgia, which just elected two Democrats to the U.S. Senate.
"It's time to abandon boom-or-bust campaigning, where massive amounts of money, attention, and volunteers parachute into certain states a few weeks before Election Day, only to dry up the day after," he added.
Kennedy, the grandson of Robert F. Kennedy, gambled — and lost — by betting he could win the Massachusetts Democratic Senate primary last year. Markey, a progressive, prevailed, and Kennedy became the first in his storied political dynasty to lose a race for Congress in Massachusetts.