Senate primary candidates agree to two more debates ahead of Sept. election

Massachusetts Senate primary candidates Joseph P. Kennedy III, Ed Markey, and Shannon Liss-Riordan.
Massachusetts Senate primary candidates Joseph P. Kennedy III, Ed Markey, and Shannon Liss-Riordan.Globe staff and wire photo

Senator Edward J. Markey will face off against his two Democratic primary challengers — Representative Joseph P. Kennedy III and labor lawyer Shannon Liss-Riordan — for two more debates ahead of the September primary election, a partnership of media organizations and UMass Boston announced Thursday.

The first debate hosted by the partnership, which includes The Boston Globe, WBUR-FM, WCVB-TV, and the John W. McCormack Graduate School of Policy and Global Studies at UMass Boston, will be held on March 18 in Springfield. The second debate hosted by the partnership will be held in the closing days of the primary race, on Aug. 18, at a Boston-area location yet to be determined. That forum will be the final debate before voters go to the polls on Sept. 1.


Both debates will be broadcast live. A Spanish-language translation of the debates will be available on Univision stations WUNI Boston and WHTX Springfield, according to a news release.

Markey, a longtime congressman, was first elected to the Senate in a 2013 special election and won a full term in 2014. He is facing a stiff primary challenge this year as he seeks a second six-year Senate term. Kennedy outpaced Markey in 2019 fourth-quarter fund-raising by about $1 million, the Globe reported earlier this week.

WGBH News will host the first Senate primary debate on Feb. 18 in Brighton, which will be televised on WGBH-TV and broadcast on 89.7 WGBH Radio.

Christina Prignano can be reached at christina.prignano@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @cprignano.