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Ed Markey endorses Andrea Campbell for Massachusetts attorney general seat

Andrea Campbell and Senator Ed Markey shared a joke in September. Markey announced his endorsement of Campbell on Wednesday.Josh Reynolds for The Boston Globe

Senator Edward J. Markey endorsed former Boston city councilor and mayoral candidate Andrea Campbell for attorney general Wednesday, the first endorsement in the race from a Massachusetts congressperson.

The nod from Markey, a high-profile Democrat, may shift more progressive attention in the state toward Campbell.

“Andrea Campbell is the Attorney General Massachusetts needs right now — experienced, effective, dedicated, visionary,” Markey said in a statement.

“She understands the struggles of Massachusetts residents, especially our most vulnerable, because she has lived them. She understands what opportunity looks like, because she has created it. She understands what justice and accountability look like, because she has always fought for it.”

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Campbell is running to succeed Maura Healey, who is running for governor. Campbell will face labor attorney Shannon Liss-Riordan and former lieutenant governor candidate Quentin Palfrey in the Democratic primary.

“I’m honored and grateful to have Senator Markey’s support in this race,” Campbell said in a statement. “We have partnered in the work from environmental justice to criminal legal reform, and are unafraid to challenge the status quo to ensure every Massachusetts resident has access to the same opportunities we had growing up here.”

Campbell, who lives in Mattapan, grew up in Boston and graduated from Boston Latin School, Princeton University, and UCLA Law School. At the start of her career she worked as a legal services attorney for the EdLaw project, defending the rights of children with disabilities. She was also employment attorney at Proskauer LLP, general counsel of the Metropolitan Area Planning Council, and deputy legal counsel to former governor Deval Patrick. She was first elected to public office in 2015, defeating longtime incumbent Charles Yancey.

Campbell has spoken extensively about how her family history shaped how she views the criminal justice system and how government should work. Her twin brother Andre died in pre-trial detention before the age of 30.

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Campbell came in third in last year’s mayoral race.

In the attorney general race, she leads the field in campaign funds with $318,969, according to the most recent state campaign finance data. Palfrey had amassed $246,876, and Liss-Riordan was close behind with $205,785.


Gal Tziperman Lotan can be reached at gal.lotan@globe.com or at 617-929-2043.