Joseph P. Kennedy III

February 16, 2012 by staff 

Joseph P. Kennedy III, Joseph P. Kennedy III laughed last weekend during a Democratic caucus at Newton South High School.

Joseph P. Kennedy III, the grandson of Robert F. Kennedy and the son of former US Representative Joseph P. Kennedy II, formally declared his candidacy for Congress in a video announcement that was released this morning.

“You can always count on me to fight for small businesses, seniors, veterans, and for you to make sure you get the constituent service you’ve come to expect,” Kennedy said in the three-minute video.

He said that if elected, his priorities would include a fair tax code, job growth, and a 21st-century energy policy.

He also touted his recent experience as a prosecutor and an advocate for low-income residents during his studies at Harvard Law School, as well as his time as a Peace Corps volunteer.

“As an assistant district attorney, I fought for fairness every day in the courtroom,” Kennedy said. “I volunteered in a legal aid clinic when I was a law student, helping tenants who were mistreated by landlords and banks.”

Kennedy also gave a nod to his family legacy in announcing his run for the congressional seat being vacated by US Representative Barney Frank, a Democrat, after 32 years on Capitol Hill.

“My family has had the great privilege of serving Massachusetts before,” he said. “They taught me that public service is an honor, given in trust, and that trust must be earned each and every day. That’s exactly what I intend to do.”

The Democrat also plans to visit five locations across the Fourth Congressional District today, starting at 7:45 a.m. at the Newton Center MBTA stop.

“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 said in a statement on Wednesday night.

“I’ve spoken to people from across the Fourth Congressional District — from Newton to Fall River — who believe that Washington no longer works for them. I will work hard to earn every vote and if elected bring that fight for fairness to the US Congress,” he added.

Three lesser-known Democrats, Herb Robinson, Paul Heroux, and Jules Levine, are also competing for their party’s nomination, as are at least two Republicans, Sean Bielat, a former Marine who challenged Frank for reelection in 2010, and Elizabeth Childs, a Newton psychiatrist.

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