Kennedy Elected to House

Joe Kennedy gives his victory speech after winning a seat in the US House of Representatives on Tuesday night at the Marriot in Newton, Mass. (Photo by Alexa Gonzalez Wagner/BU News Service)

By Dana Hatic
Boston University News Service

NEWTON — Jeff Cox came to Newton to witness history.

“This is the next generation, and he’s definitely a leader,” Cox, a social worker, said as Joseph Kennedy III won the U.S. Representative seat in the Massachusetts District 4.

Cox was part of the crowd at a Newton hotel where Kennedy’s supporters celebrated the election of the latest Kennedy to serve Massachusetts in Washington.

“I think this is a very hopeful day for Massachusetts,” he said. “He’s been tutored in the tradition of public service, and, mark my words, you’re going to see some really great things.”

Kennedy was declared the winner following a boisterous evening of cheers and repeated plays of Bruce Springsteen’s “We Take Care of Our Own” in a meeting room at the Newton Marriott.

Frank Carroll, clad in suit and tie with a red handkerchief in his front pocket and an American flag pin on his left lapel, said he came to see his new congressman.

“He’s a very nice guy and I predict a bright future. He’s got a lot of compassion,” said Carroll, who hosted a reception for Kennedy and noticed his impact on younger voters.

“It’s good because it was nice to see some of my old friends from the Kennedy family,” said Carroll, who has supported Kennedy family candidates over 40 years.

“I would rate Joe Kennedy probably one of the best I’ve ever supported. This is a new generation. He’ll serve this district well. This is the future.”

The crowd was dotted with a mixture of older Kennedy supporters and younger supporters, including many first-time voters and those who worked on Kennedy’s campaign staff.

“They brought us across the finish line,” said Kennedy. “They worked their hearts out, and we owe this election to them.”

Chris Hofmann, a 19-year-old student from Roger Williams University in Rhode Island, worked for Kennedy’s campaign in Fall River. Though he was unable to vote in District 4, Hofmann said he felt compelled to work for Kennedy and his economic policies.

“For an area like District 4, his economic policies could help with revival,” Hofmann said.

Sheila Pallay of Sharon, who sponsored an event for Kennedy, was one of the invited guests.

“His public persona and his private persona are the same,” she said. “He was charming and very open. I actually voted for his great uncle and of course, Teddy. I think the Kennedy family is extraordinary.”

Lani Savell, mother-in-law of Patrick Kennedy, came to support her extended family.

“We were sure that his cousin would win,” said Savell, who voted by mail in New Jersey so she could attend the event this evening with her family.

Jason Collins, who plays basketball for the Boston Celtics and roomed with Kennedy at Stanford University, was also in the crowd.

“I came to support my old college roommate,” Collins said. “He’s a good human being.”

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