Joe Kennedy III has sunk to a new low in his campaign to unset incumbent U.S. Sen. Edward Markey.
The 4th District congressman accused Markey in an email blast of failing to “strangely” recognize the needs of Massachusetts residents in Dana, Enfield and Prescott, among other towns.
Only one problem: Dana, Enfield, and Prescott have been at the bottom of the Quabbin Reservoir for decades.
The mighty Quabbin, the source of drinking water for Greater Boston, was completed in 1946, according to the state. Four towns were sunk to make room for the massive body of fresh water — Dana, in Worcester County, and the Hampshire County towns of Enfield, Greenwich, and Prescott.
Kennedy’s errant email — titled “Missing Markey” — was used to Kennedy’s errant email — titled “Missing Markey” — was used to accuse the senator of a lack of local connections. The attack was launched Sunday on the day both candidates clashed in a televised debate.
Kennedy’s camp told the Herald Monday night naming the long-lost towns was a “silly error.”
Markey’s side hit back saying the 39-year-old challenger was out of line and out of touch.
“For a campaign that’s underwater itself, you’d think they would be more sensitive to the memory of those towns,” said John Walsh, Markey’s campaign manager. “He should at least know those towns don’t have any delegates.”
Walsh said Kennedy’s criticism of Markey, 74, spending a lot of his time in Maryland instead of Malden was “a pretty silly attack,” because the business of being a Senator occurs mostly in Washington, D.C.
“That attack doesn’t hold much water at the end of the day,” Walsh added. “Ed has balanced it out.”
As of deadline, Kennedy’s side was only sharing one comment: “We regret the silly error. But to be clear, we don’t think Senator Markey has been present in the 351 cities and towns that are above the water either.”
During Sunday’s debate hosted by NBC10 Boston, Markey said how much time he spends in Chevy Chase, Md., rather than his hometown of Malden, will soon be “provided.”
The rivals took the debate stage at a critical time in their increasingly narrow primary battle, with vote-by-mail applications landing in mailboxes and the clock winding down to sway undecided voters before Sept. 1 after the race was relegated to the background by the coronavirus pandemic.
As for the error-prone email, Kennedy’s side used the senator’s “Markey Map” page to attack his knowledge of the state. Walsh told the Herald they are more than happy to stand by that map that he said shows how Markey delivered for constituents.
It holds water, Walsh added.