Joseph Kennedy III

February 16, 2012 by staff 

Joseph Kennedy III, Joseph Kennedy III said Wednesday he’s formally jumping into the race for the Massachusetts congressional seat now held by retiring U.S. Rep Barney Frank.

‘I believe this country was founded on a simple idea: that every person deserves to be treated fairly, by each other and by their government, but that’s not happening in America anymore,’ Kennedy, a Democrat, said ahead of an announcement scheduled for Thursday.

He said he would work hard to earn every vote and if elected would ‘bring that fight for fairness to the U.S. Congress’.

Kennedy, the son of former U.S. Rep Joseph Kennedy II and a grandson of the late Robert F. Kennedy, recently moved from Cambridge to Brookline, part of the state’s newly redrawn 4th Congressional District.

The family has deep ties to the Boston suburb.

Brookline is the site of the birthplace of Kennedy’s great-uncle, the late President John F. Kennedy.

Kennedy announced last month he was forming an exploratory committee to look at a possible run for the seat.

He isn’t the only candidate in the race, though.

Republican Sean Bielat, who lost to Frank, a Democrat, in 2010, also has jumped into the contest. He made his announcement official in January.

‘I think we started something last time,’ Bielat, a former U.S. Marine who lives in Norfolk, said at the time. ‘I think we made some big gains, but we didn’t get the job done.’

Republican Elizabeth Childs, of Brookline, a former state mental health commissioner under former Gov Mitt Romney, has also announced her intention to run for the GOP nomination.

Kennedy planned to release a video announcement on his campaign website Thursday morning before heading out on a campaign swing through the district.

Kennedy is scheduled to start the day greeting commuters at the Newton Center Green Line MBTA Station before making stops in Milford, Attleboro, Taunton and Westport.

The Kennedy family has seen its influence in Washington fade in recent years as its younger generations have largely shunned public office.

The death of Massachusetts’ U.S. Sen Edward Kennedy, Joseph Kennedy’s great-uncle, in 2009 left a void for the family.

The retirement of his son, Rhode Island’s U.S. Rep Patrick Kennedy last year marked the first time in 63 years that a Kennedy wasn’t serving in elected office in Washington.

Joseph Kennedy III is a graduate of Stanford University, where he studied management science and engineering and was co-captain of the lacrosse team, and of Harvard Law School, where he served as technical editor of the Harvard Human Rights Journal.

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