By Associated Press - Friday, May 1, 2020

BOSTON (AP) - U.S. Sen. Ed Markey said Friday that he has collected more than enough voter signatures to secure a spot on the Sept. 1 state Democratic primary.

Markey said he gathered more than 23,000 signatures from across the state with the help of volunteers.

U.S. Rep. Joe Kennedy III had earlier announced he had also collected enough signatures. Kennedy is hoping to oust Markey in the primary.

The state’s highest court in April lowered the signature threshold for U.S. Senate candidates from 10,000 to 5,000 because of the difficulty of safely gathering signatures during a state-at-home advisory due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The court had also ordered the secretary of the commonwealth to allow the use of electronic signatures.

The lower threshold and electronic signatures only apply to the September primary.

Kennedy is edging out Markey in the race to stockpile campaign funds ahead of the primary.

As of the end of March, Kennedy reported more than $6.2 million in cash on hand in his campaign account. That’s compared with $4.4 million for Markey.

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