Kennedy Poised To Run for Congress

After launching an exploratory website on Monday, Harvard Law School alumnus Joseph P. Kennedy III is one step closer to declaring his candidacy for the Massachusetts District Four Congressional Seat, according to Kennedy aides and local politicos.

Over the past month, Kennedy has moved towards officially declaring his candidacy for the seat, currently held by retiring Congressman Barney Frank ’61-’62. Kennedy announced on Jan. 5 that he planned to form an exploratory committee. Then on Jan. 20 Kennedy stepped down from his post at the Middlesex County prosecutor’s office.

“I’d be very surprised if he doesn’t announce in the month,” former Boston City Councillor Lawrence S. DiCara said.

The website provides news updates on Kennedy and allows supporters to donate to the potential candidate.

“Joe is thinking about running now precisely because [of] the difficult times we are in and the broken state of our politics in Washington,” Kennedy’s spokesman, Kyle Sullivan, wrote in an email Monday. “There are critical issues facing the 4th district right now, and Joe believes that we need to do more to create new jobs, provide better educational opportunities, and restore common sense and fairness in Congress.”

Last week, Boston City Councillor Michael P. Ross disbanded his own exploratory committee, leaving Kennedy the clear Democratic frontrunner according to DiCara.

On the Republican side, Harvard Kennedy School alumnus Sean Bielat has emerged as the Republican frontrunner, DiCara said. Bielat, a former Marine, lost to Frank by a narrow margin when he ran for the seat two years ago.

Kennedy is the grandson of Robert F. Kennedy and the son of former Congressman Joseph P. Kennedy Jr. Kennedy’s candidacy would mark the first time a member of the Massachusetts political family has run for office since the death of Senator Edward M. Kennedy ’54-’56 in 2009.

The 31-year-old Kennedy graduated from Stanford and Harvard Law School, where he worked extensively in the legal aid office.

He then spent two years as a Peace Corps volunteer in the Dominican Republic and has since worked as a lawyer for Middlesex County and the Cape and Island District Attorney’s office.

—Staff writer Nicholas P. Fandos can be reached at


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