Sen. Ed Markey endorses Donaghue, Petty in state races

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Sen. Ed Markey endorses Donaghue, Petty in state races
Sen. Ed Markey endorsed Kate Donaghue for the 19th Worcester District. (Photo/Laura Hayes)

WESTBOROUGH/NORTHBOROUGH – Senator Ed Markey visited Westborough and Northborough on Wednesday of last week to endorse a pair of candidates running for local state legislature seats. 

Markey endorsed Westborough resident and community activist Kate Donaghue for the new 19th Worcester District house seat. Before that, he backed Worcester Mayor Joe Petty in the 1st Worcester District senate seat to replace retiring senator Harriette Chandler. 

“Kate is like a one-woman, multinational, public interest campaign all embodied in one person,” Markey said from the gazebo in Westborough’s Bay State Commons. “It seems impossible that anyone can have this much energy, this much passion, this much commitment to fighting every single fight.” 

Markey was introduced by Select Board member Sean Keogh. 

Donaghue, a Democrat, is running against Republican Southborough businessman Jonathan Hostage for the house seat, which represents most of Westborough and Northborough, all of Southborough and part of Framingham. 

“The state house has never met anyone like Kate Donaghue,” Markey said. 

Donaghue said this event wasn’t about speeches, but about knocking on doors. She said she and her team have knocked on over 7,000 doors as part of their campaign. 

“I have been knocking on doors every single day since mid-February when papers came out,” Donaghue said. “I did skip Easter, and I skipped a snowstorm. I skipped a day I was sick, but other than that, every single day I have been knocking on doors.”

Donaghue talked about the issues she’s running on – including healthcare, climate change, education and fighting substance use disorder. 

Donaghue also talked about her son, Brian Simpson, who died due to a drug overdose in 2018, as well as the work Markey has done fighting substance use disorder.

“[Markey] was a hero to me when Brian was first struggling,” Donaghue said. 

She said she saw Markey’s work before a good friend told her, “You have a voice. Use it.” 

Well known in local Democratic politics, Donaghue has worked with a number of local and national campaigns over the years, canvassing for candidates as part of that work. 

While she talked about the issues she was running on, Donaghue noted that she decided to try knocking on doors when Markey was first running for the senate. 

“Now more than ever, [the person] who represents you at the state level matters,” Donaghue said.

Petty endorsed in Northborough 

Markey’s endorsement of Petty came outside of the Cellar Bar & Grille in Northborough. 

Petty is running for the seat held by longtime state Sen. Harriette Chandler. 

He is facing off against Robyn Kennedy in a Democratic primary race.

The 1st Worcester District is made up of Northborough, Berlin, Boylston, West Boylston and parts of Worcester. 

Markey endorsed Petty outside of the Cellar Bar & Grille and was joined by Northborough Board of Selectmen Chair Mitch Cohen and Selectmen Julianne Hirsh and Kristen Wixted. 

Petty, Markey said, would be a great state senator.

“Here we have a candidate in the City of Worcester who has absolutely been the model for what public service should be,” Markey said. “Diversity, education, healthcare, immigration – on each and every one of those issues Joe Petty, as the mayor of Worcester, has been a model for the rest of our nation. We need that kind of vision up in the state house.” 

He encouraged people to vote for Petty if they wanted stronger gun laws and protections for unions, the LGBTQIA+ community and the climate along with increased funding for education and healthcare.

This year’s state primary election is set for September 6. 

The general election is November 8.

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