Despite suspending traditional campaign activities earlier this month, U.S. Rep. Joe Kennedy raised $1.95 million in the first quarter for his Senate campaign, again topping incumbent U.S. Sen. Ed Markey who reported raising $1.2 million toward his re-election effort.
Kennedy starts the second quarter of the 2020 election year with $6.2 million in cash on hand, according to a memo from his campaign manager Nick Clemons, who said the campaign will soon begin to think about how restart fundraising efforts.
"Moving into the second quarter, we know that we will have to start raising funds again, and to come up with creative ways to do so. Don't expect to see a steady stream of urgent fundraising requests in your inbox -- we intend to continue using our platforms primarily to share COVID-19 information and resources," Clemons wrote in the memo, shared with the News Service by a recipient.
Markey's campaign manager John Walsh said the senator will begin the second quarter trailing Kennedy in available funds by close to $2 million, with $4.4 million in the bank.
"Given the unprecedented circumstances faced this quarter, including Ed Markey's duty during the impeachment trial in January and more recently the coronavirus outbreak, we are grateful to our supporters who continued to provide the resources necessary to run a robust grassroots campaign," Walsh said in a statement.
Kennedy suspended his campaign on March 13, and in his memo Clemons said he wasn't sure when the campaign would restart. Kennedy has been focusing his efforts on the response to the coronavirus, and hosting nightly webcasts with guests to share information about and discuss the impact of the pandemic.
"Candidly, I'm not sure 'suspension' is the right word anymore. This is our new normal," Clemons wrote. "Our country faces a collective threat unlikely to abate anytime soon. We know we will need to resume some basic campaign activities in the weeks ahead, but we are putting a lot of time and thought into how we do that in a way that reflects Joe’s deep belief that little else matters right now except keeping the people we love safe."
Clemons said that over the next few months Kennedy will be pushing for vote-by-mail, no-fault absentee voting and extended early voting.