This Massachusetts lawyer just announced a primary campaign against Ed Markey

"You may not know me, but if you look me up, you'll see my entire career has been driven by my beliefs."

Shannon Liss-Riordan, who has won several high-profile class action suits on behalf of workers, at her Boston office. Suzanne Kreiter / The Boston Globe

It looks like Sen. Ed Markey is the next longtime Massachusetts elected official facing a primary challenge.

Shannon Liss-Riordan, a high-profile labor rights attorney, announced Monday morning that she will run against the 72-year-old Democrat in the state’s 2020 Senate primary, calling for a “fresh voice willing to break” the cycle of Washington politics.

Liss-Riordan, 49, filed paperwork last month to explore a run against Markey.

“You may not know me, but if you look me up, you’ll see my entire career has been driven by my beliefs,” Liss-Riordan said in the video Monday, alluding to her history of activism and work representing low-wage workers, from tipped restaurant and hospitality workers to Uber drivers in the gig economy.


“These cases have made me realize how much the rich and powerful have reshaped our country to benefit them,” she said. “They’ve been writing the rules for too long. We need to make a change.”

While her announcement did not mention Markey or draw any specific policy differences, Liss-Riordan’s candidacy echoes the wave of progressive Democrats who challenged several of the state’s longtime incumbents in 2018 (some successfully, others not). In her video Monday, the Brookline mother of three described Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearing last year as a personal tipping point. Markey also opposed Kavanaugh’s nomination.

“This election, the people of Massachusetts will have a choice,” Liss-Riordan said. “Maintain the status quo in Washington and stay in this endless cycle. Or vote for me and break it.”