Joseph Kennedy III

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Joseph Kennedy III
Joe kennedy 3.jpg
U.S. House, Massachusetts, District 4
In office
January 3, 2013-Present
Term ends
January 3, 2015
Years in position 2
PredecessorBarney Frank (D)
Base salary$174,000/year
Elections and appointments
Last electionNovember 6, 2012
First electedNovember 6, 2012
Next generalNovember 4, 2014
Campaign $$4,204,050
Term limitsN/A
Bachelor'sStanford University
J.D.Harvard Law School
Date of birthOct. 4, 1980
Place of birthBrighton, Massachusetts
Net worth$35,677,625
Office website
Campaign website
Joseph Kennedy III (b. October 4, 1980, in Brighton, Massachusetts) is a Democratic member of the United States House of Representatives representing Massachusetts' 4th congressional district. Kennedy was first elected to the House on November 6, 2012 and is currently serving his first term. [1]

Kennedy is set to run for re-election in Massachusetts' 4th congressional district in the general election on November 4, 2014.

Prior to his congressional career Kennedy served as District Attorney for Middlesex County.[2]

Based on analysis of multiple outside rankings, Kennedy is an average Democratic member of Congress, meaning he will vote with the Democratic Party on the majority of bills.


Kennedy earned his bachelor's degree from Stanford University. Upon graduation, he went on to obtain his law degree from Harvard Law School, where he was a member of the Harvard Legal Aid Bureau. From 2004-2006, he served in the Peace Corps in the Dominican Republic, where he helped local residents establish control over the Rio Damajagua waterfall national park. He served several Massachusetts counties as Assistant District Attorney before he occupied the same position for Middlesex County. [2]


  • Assistant District Attorney, Middlesex County
  • Member, Peace Corps, 2004-2006
  • Former Prosecutor

Committee assignments

U.S. House


Kennedy serves on the following committees:[3]


Campaign themes


On his campaign website, Kennedy listed eight issues. They are:[4]

  • Jobs and the Economy

Excerpt: "The top creators of jobs in our district and state are small businesses. We need to do everything we can to make sure they have the tools and resources they need to start hiring, and that government is helping them rather than standing in the way."

  • Balancing our budget

Excerpt: "I believe in a country where the success of our future generations isn’t limited by the debts of their parents and grandparents. We have an obligation to our children – to their children – to get serious about balancing our budget and reducing our debt and deficit."

  • Energy independence

Excerpt: "A comprehensive energy plan is essential to the economy, environment, and security of our district, state and country. That means maximizing our domestic resources in a responsible way, seriously committing to renewable energy technologies and fuel efficiency measures, and cracking down on speculators manipulating the markets at the expense of working families

  • Health care reform

Excerpt: "I support the path set forth by the Affordable Care Act. It’s not perfect, but it makes some important reforms like paving the way for universal coverage, making sure insurance companies can’t discriminate against people with pre-existing conditions, and guaranteeing women access to essential health services. There is still much work to do to make health care more efficient, more effective, and more transparent."

  • Foreign policy and security

Excerpt: "We have no greater obligation than protecting the safety and security of our country and her citizens at home and abroad. We’re facing one of the most complicated foreign policy landscapes in our history. We’re engaged in a global fight against terror involving multiple fronts, repeated deployments, tens of thousands dead and wounded, and great uncertainty."

  • Education

Excerpt: "Providing access to quality education is the number one way to ensure that a child has the chance to succeed. It’s also one of the most significant investments that we as a society can make in our economic future. Unless and until every child is prepared to take up the challenge of continuing our great history of innovation and high-skilled work, we will continue to fall behind where we once led."

  • Social Justice

Excerpt: "I believe that this country was founded on the principles of equality and fairness, and that we should be doing all we can to ensure those basic ideals continue to light our way."

  • Women's Rights

Excerpt: "I believe this country was founded on the basic principles of equality and fairness. The fight to preserve and strengthen women’s rights is at the epicenter of our efforts to make sure those fundamental values hold true for future generations." [4]



See also: Massachusetts' 4th congressional district elections, 2014

Kennedy is set to run for re-election to the U.S. House in 2014. If he runs, he will seek the Democratic nomination in the primary election. The general election took place November 4, 2014.


See also: Massachusetts' 4th congressional district elections, 2012

Kennedy ran in the 2012 election for the U.S. House, representing Massachusetts' 4th District. He defeated Herb Robinson and Rachel Brown in the September 6 Democratic primary. Incumbent Democrat Barney Frank did not seek re-election.[5][6]

General election

Joseph Kennedy III, "Kennedy announces his candidacy for Congress"[7]
U.S. House, Massachusetts District 4 General Election, 2012
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngJoseph Kennedy III 59.3% 221,303
     Republican Sean Bielat 34.8% 129,936
     Independent David Rosa 2.9% 10,741
     N/A All Others 0.1% 265
     N/A Blank Votes 2.9% 10,869
Total Votes 373,114
Source: Massachusetts Secretary of State "Return of Votes"

Primary results

Massachusetts' 4th Congressional District Democratic Primary, 2012
Candidate Vote % Votes
Green check mark transparent.pngJoseph Kennedy III 90.1% 36,388
Rachel Brown 6.5% 2,611
Herb Robinson 3.4% 1,368
Total Votes 40,367


Kennedy received official endorsements for the 2012 election from the organizations below.[8]

  • Sierra Club
  • Massachusetts Coalition of Police
  • Human Rights Campaign
  • Planned Parenthood
  • Massachusetts Nurses Association
  • Massachusetts Teachers Association
  • Massachusetts AFL-CIO

Campaign donors

Comprehensive donor information for Kennedy is available dating back to 2012. Based on available campaign finance records, Kennedy raised a total of $4,204,050 during that time period. This information was last updated on May 16, 2013.[9]

Joseph Kennedy III's Campaign Contribution History
Year Office Result Contributions
2012 U.S. House (Massachusetts, District 4) Won $4,204,050
Grand Total Raised $4,204,050


Candidates for Congress are required to file up to seven main reports with the Federal Election Commission during the 2014 elections season. Below are Kennedy’s reports.[10]

Joseph Kennedy III (2014) Campaign Finance Reports
ReportDate FiledBeginning BalanceTotal Contributions
for Reporting Period
ExpendituresCash on Hand
April Quarterly[11]April 15, 2013$334,754.37$253,045.88$(214,386.28)$373,413.97
July Quarterly[12]July 16, 2013$373,413.97$386,758.84$(272,081.64)$488,091.17
Running totals


Above is a breakdown of funds for the 2012 election, according to source.

Kennedy won election to the U.S. House of Representatives in 2012. During that election cycle, Kennedy's campaign committee raised a total of $4,204,050 and spent $3,869,295.[13]

Cost per vote

Kennedy spent $17.48 per vote received in 2012.


Ideology and leadership

See also: GovTrack's Political Spectrum & Legislative Leadership ranking

Based on an analysis of bill sponsorship by GovTrack, Kennedy is a "centrist Democratic follower" as of June 24, 2013.[14]

Like-minded colleagues

The website OpenCongress tracks the voting records of each member to determine with whom he or she votes most and least often. The results include a member from each party.[15]

Kennedy most often votes with:

Kennedy least often votes with:

Lifetime voting record

See also: Lifetime voting records of United States Senators and Representatives

According to the website GovTrack, Kennedy missed 0 of 89 roll call votes from Jan 2013 to Mar 2013, which is 0.0% of votes during that period. This is better than the median of 2.2% among the lifetime records of representatives currently serving.[16]

Net worth

See also: Net Worth of United States Senators and Representatives


Based on congressional financial disclosure forms and calculations made available by, Kennedy's net worth as of 2011 was estimated between $15,605,250 and $55,750,000. That averages to $35,677,625, which is higher than the average net worth of Democratic representatives in 2011 of $5,107,874.[17]

Voting with party

June 2013

Joseph Kennedy III voted with the Democratic Party 95.9% of the time, which ranked 7 among the 201 House Democratic members as of June 2013.[18]


Kennedy is the grandson of Robert F. Kennedy. Joseph's father was a member of the U.S. House from Massachusetts.

Recent news

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Political offices
Preceded by
Barney Frank
U.S. House of Representatives - Massachusetts, District 4
Succeeded by