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Markey endorses Edwards for Senate

Councilor in two-way special election for seat

Avery Bleichfeld
Markey endorses Edwards for Senate
U.S. Sen. Ed Markey gave his endorsement to City Councilor Lydia Edwards’ run for the Middlesex/Suffolk state Senate seat. PHOTO: AVERY BLEICHFELD

U.S. Sen. Ed Markey announced Saturday that he was endorsing Boston City Councilor Lydia Edwards in her bid for state Senate.

During the announcement of the endorsement, Markey cited Edwards’ track record of focusing on environmental and social justice.

“Everything that she does is informed by all of the incredible battles that she has fought throughout her life,” Markey said. “She is the embodiment of environmental justice, social justice, health care justice, educational justice not only for everyone in East Boston, Revere, Winthrop, Chinatown, the North End, but for the entire Commonwealth.”

The event took place across from the proposed location of the East Boston electric substation, which Boston voters rejected by a wide margin when it appeared on the November ballot. Edwards, who has represented East Boston and the rest of City Council District 1 since 2017, has long opposed the substation on the grounds that the neighborhood, an environmental justice community, has been the site of many industrial uses.

As part of her proposed platform, Edwards has voiced support for clean energy options and green spaces. Markey called her a Green New Deal candidate.

Lydia Edwards in East Boston on Saturday. PHOTO: AVERY BLEICHFELD

“In this era of the Green New Deal, it will not be all gas, no brakes, it’ll be all electric, no brakes, because we’re doing electric in the city of Boston, in a Green New Deal city with a Green New Deal mayor, and we’re about to send a Green New Deal state senator up to Beacon Hill to ensure the voice of every single person is heard,” Markey said.

When Markey ran for reelection in 2020, Edwards endorsed him.

Edwards announced her run for the state Senate’s First Suffolk and Middlesex District in mid-September, after former state Sen. Joseph Boncore resigned from the seat to head the Massachusetts Biotechnology Council.

In remarks following Markey’s endorsement, Edwards described herself as the immigrant candidate, the working-family candidate, the poor people’s candidate and the people of color’s candidate.

“This is about our future; I am battle-tested. I’m not taking our future on a test drive,” Edwards said. “I am moving us forward. I’m going to make sure we get the representation that we need, and I’m going to make sure that when we sit down at the table, we don’t forget where we come from, and the beautiful languages that we come from, and our histories from countries all over this world. I do not, and will never, define a human being by the piece of paper that they had when they came into this country.”

Boston Mayor Michelle Wu, who endorsed Edwards on Nov. 18, spoke positively about Edwards’ track record in the City Council, where the two served together.

“She has muscled through so many changes that will, for generations, leave an impact on this city, and we need her to do that statewide from this perch in the state Senate,” Wu said.

Wu also echoed language Saturday from her own mayoral campaign, saying that Edwards will bring the changes that Massachusetts deserves.

“We know what happens when committed, passionate advocates come together and push for what we deserve — not what we’re told is the way things have been, not what we’re told is what we can get, but what we truly deserve,” Wu said. “We have pushed the needle on that at the city level, and over a year-plus of campaigning, we earned the mandate to show that more can be done, and we need partners at all levels to get that done. There’s no stronger partner than Lydia Edwards for the state Senate.”

Adrian Madaro, who serves as state representative for East Boston on Beacon Hill, also said Edwards would be the right person to partner with to fight for the neighborhood.

“It couldn’t be more fitting that we gathered today, right by here, with so many champions of environmental justice and climate change to support our good friend Lydia Edwards,” Madaro said, “who’s going to take the fight of environmental justice, take the fight against the substation, take the fight on behalf of our communities, on behalf of labor, on behalf of working families to the State House.”

Madaro described the work ahead as work that must be done “together, in partnership.”

Edwards will face off against fellow Democrat Anthony D’Ambrosio, who currently serves on the Revere School Committee, in the special primary election Dec. 14. The general election will take place Jan. 11 next year. No Republican candidates are running.

The state Senate seat represents East Boston and most of downtown Boston, as well as Revere, Winthrop and parts of Cambridge. If elected, Edwards would be the only Black senator in the State House.

For Edwards, the bid is a chance to bring the voices of all constituents to the State House.

“I know this is cold, and I know we’re exhausted, and I’m sleep-deprived and so are you, and I’m still asking for more. I’m still asking for more, because every single day, I hear … the cry of many people who are struggling to make it,” Edwards said. “That’s why we’re out here, because we know we need a fighter, and I have the record of fighting for everybody.”