The Newton Centre MBTA platform was a little more crowded than usual this morning.
Dozens of Joe Kennedy III supporters surrounded the station with campaign signs Thursday as the newly-minted Fourth District candidate made his rounds shaking hands and meeting local elected officials.
Just over a month after announcing an exploratory committee for the seat, Kennedy officially announced his candidacy this morning in a video statement posted on his campaign website.
“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,” Kennedy said in his statement.
At the MBTA station this morning, Kennedy met with commuters and stopped to chat with State Rep. Kay Khan (D-Newton), Ward 8 Newton School Committee member Margie Ross Decter and Newton Democratic City Committee Vice Chair Shawn Fitzgibbons.
Kennedy also greeted members of his campaign who were on hand with clipboards to collect voter signatures.
After making his rounds, Kennedy told the press it is "incredible" to speak with citizens, hear what they have to say and "let them open up."
Following the brief press conference, Kennedy made his way to the Deluxe Station Diner where he continued to meet with local residents and voters. He will make stops later today in Milford, Attleboro, Taunton and Westport.
According to an email sent yesterday by the Newton Democratic City Committee, Kennedy will be back in Newton on Saturday to collect signatures for his campaign. He and a number of other candidates will be collecting signatures on Langley Road and at the from 10:30 a.m. - 1 p.m.
Although today was the first official day of his campaign, Kennedy is already leading in state polls and has received an endorsement from the state's largest labor union.
Prior to starting his campaign, Kennedy worked as an assistant district attorney in Middlesex County. He recently moved from Cambridge to Brookline and registered to vote in the Fourth District.
Kennedy is the son of former Congressman Joe Kennedy II and the grandson of Robert F. Kennedy.
With today's announcement, Kennedy joins a ballot with a number of other Democrats including:
- Former Barney Frank challenger Rachel Brown, of North Quincy
- Paul Heroux, of Attleboro
- Marty Farren, of Sharon
- Herb Robinson, of Newton
- Jules Levine, of Brookline
Brookline Library Trustee and Patch columnist Michael Burstein has said he will form an exploratory committee to look at the seat.
Former Fourth District challenger Sean Bielat and Brookline School Committee member Elizabeth Childs have also said they will run on the Republican ticket.
[Update: The site issue involving links has been resolved. Links have been added to the story. 1:48 p.m.]