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Liss-Riordan loans campaign $1 million for Markey challenge

Shannon Liss-Riordan is challenging incumbent Senator Ed Markey.Jim Davis /Globe Staff/Globe Staff

Shannon Liss-Riordan, the Brookline labor attorney challenging US Senator Edward J. Markey in next year’s primary, has loaned her campaign $1 million for her effort to topple the incumbent, according to a preliminary copy of a fund-raising report from her campaign.

She raised just shy of $145,000 and will report about $992,000 in cash on hand for the second quarter, which ended June 30.

Liss-Riordan officially began her campaign in May.

In a brief phone interview Tuesday evening, Liss-Riordan said she anticipates an expensive campaign, noting that races “cost millions of dollars.”

“I’m running against an incumbent who’s been in politics nearly half a century,” she said. “He’s been in Washington more than 40 years and he’s got access to special interest money that I don’t have. So I know it’s going to be an expensive campaign.”


Liss-Riordan also said is planning to loan her campaign additional funds.

“I’m in this race to win it. And I’m going to do whatever it takes,” she said.

Federal candidates have until July 15 to report their campaign fund-raising for the second quarter.

A spokeswoman for Markey declined to comment Tuesday night.

In the first quarter of the year, Markey reported raising close to $940,000, with about $3.5 million in cash on hand.

Liss-Riordan, a partner at Lichten & Liss-Riordan in Boston, has represented waiters, fast-food workers, drivers, exotic dancers, cleaners, and others who allege wage theft and misclassification as independent contractors by their employers.

The Senate candidate gained national attention for cases against companies like Starbucks, Amazon, and Google.

She told The Boston Globe in May that “the last 20 years fighting in the trenches on behalf of workers” is needed in Washington, D.C., and she wants to be a “voice and champion” of the working class.

Markey has rarely faced primary opposition in his career.


He first won his Senate seat in a 2013 special election to replace John F. Kerry, who had been appointed secretary of state.

In that special election, Markey defeated US Representative Stephen Lynch in the Democratic primary.

Prior to the Senate, Markey served in the House of Representatives for 37 years.

Steve Pemberton, chief human resources officer for software company WorkHuman, is also mulling a primary bid against Markey but has not officially announced his candidacy.

Aidan Ryan can be reached at aidan.ryan@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter at @AidanRyanNH.