February 16, 2012 / 4:43 PM / 8 years ago

Joseph Kennedy III launches bid for Congress

BOSTON (Reuters) - Joseph Kennedy III, the grandson of the late Senator Robert F. Kennedy, announced on Thursday his candidacy for the Congressional seat from Massachusetts long held by retiring Representative Barney Frank.

Joseph Kennedy III (R) embraces his father Congressman Joseph Kennedy after introducing him at an event to formally endorse Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley (C) in the race for late Sen. Edward Kennedy's U.S. Senate seat in Medford, Massachusetts, January 7, 2010. REUTERS/Adam Hunger

Kennedy, 31, would be the latest of many Kennedys to seek public office, although no member of the political dynasty is in office at the moment.

He started his campaign for Congress by crisscrossing the district in a series of stops including meeting voters at the train station in Newton and having breakfast at a local family-owned spot in Milford.

Ahead of the events, Kennedy posted a video announcing the Congressional bid on his campaign website.

“I’ve spoken to people from across Massachusetts who believe that Washington no longer works for them,” he said in the video.

“People from Newton to Fall River see a government that’s become more interested in stacking the deck than allowing every person a fair chance to play their hand,” he said.

Frank, a Democrat, announced his retirement in late November.

Herbert Robinson and Paul Heroux are among the other Democrats seeking the spot. Two Republicans, Sean Bielat and Elizabeth Childs, have also announced campaigns.

Kennedy listed a fair jobs plan with a focus on rebuilding infrastructure, a fair tax code for the middle class and a housing policy that stabilizes the market among the issues he would focus on.

As a candidate representing the Fourth District of Massachusetts, Kennedy, son of former Democratic Congressman Joseph Kennedy II, would be vying for the post held by Frank since 1980.

Kennedy’s grandfather was Robert F. Kennedy, who served as U.S. Attorney General and as a Senator from New York and was a Democratic presidential contender when he was assassinated in 1968.

The young Kennedy’s great-uncles were the late President John F. Kennedy and the late Senator Ted Kennedy from Massachusetts.

His father founded the nonprofit Citizens Energy Corp in 1979 and later served as a Congressman from Massachusetts for 12 years.

Kennedy, a graduate of Stanford University and Harvard Law School, is a former member of the Peace Corps and was a prosecutor at the Middlesex District Attorney’s office and the Cape and Islands District Attorney’s office. He announced in January he was exploring a possible run.

Reporting By Lauren Keiper; Editing by Daniel Trotta

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