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Kennedy launches new TV ad in wake of George Floyd protests

Sen. Edward Markey has not yet aired a television ad in the hotly contested Senate race.

A new television ad from the Senate campaign of Joe Kennedy III focuses on recent protests against police brutality and racism.
A new television ad from the Senate campaign of Joe Kennedy III focuses on recent protests against police brutality and racism.Handout

Representative Joseph P. Kennedy III launched a new TV ad Wednesday morning that focuses on the protests of police violence against Black Americans, his second TV pitch in his contest against incumbent Senator Edward J. Markey.

Kennedy’s campaign said it is spending $1.2 million over the next month to run the 30-second spot, called “Justice.” It will air in all four media markets that cover Massachusetts, and run on broadcast and cable, Spanish language TV, streaming services, and digital platforms.

Shot largely in black and white, the ad features numerous shots of the protests that have unfolded across the country since George Floyd, a Black man, died after a white police officer kneeled on his neck for nearly nine minutes in Minneapolis.

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“This is a moment that will define a generation. We are angry and we are grieving,” Kennedy’s voice says over the images, at which point the viewer gets a first glimpse of the candidate, masked and kneeling next to a Black woman at a protest. It’s one of just a handful of quick shots of Kennedy.

The ad also features other significant images from recent weeks — a color shot of a vibrant mural of Floyd painted at the intersection where he died, and National Guardsmen standing in front of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C.

“We will not look away as innocent Black lives are taken. We will not look away from the violence of racism and hate. We will not follow the failed politicians and policies of the past. And we will not return to normal because normal was broken,” the ad continues, picking up a line Kennedy delivered at his Monday night debate against Markey.

While Kennedy was up on the airwaves for most of May, and plans to stay there through the Sept. 1 primary, Markey’s campaign has yet to go on TV.

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The Kennedy campaign had planned to start its video campaign in June with a different ad, but decided to switch directions once the protests started, according to a campaign official.


Victoria McGrane can be reached at victoria.mcgrane@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @vgmac.