Joe Kennedy III, the latest member of the famous Kennedy family to seek federal office, raised an impressive $1.3 million in the first quarter of this year in support of his Massachusetts congressional campaign.
Kennedy, the 31-year-old son of former congressman Joe Kennedy II (D-Mass.) and grandson of Robert F. Kennedy, is the early favorite to succeed retiring Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.).
It’s rare for anyone besides a U.S. House leader to raise such a sum for a congressional campaign. In recent years, outspoken conservative Reps. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) and Allen West (R-Fla.) have occasionally exceeded that total in a given quarter, but Kennedy’s total is all the more remarkable for a non-incumbent.
Of course, the Kennedy name does opens all kinds of doors — and wallets. Kennedy’s campaign announced that it had 1,500 donors for the three-month period starting in January.
Kennedy is the prohibitive favorite for the redrawn 4th district seat. His likely Republican opponent, 2010 nominee Sean Bielat, announced raising $175,000 in the first quarter.
After Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-Mass.) died in 2009 and Rep. Patrick Kennedy (D-R.I.) retired in 2010, there were no Kennedys in office in Washington for the first time in more than 60 years.