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MARKEY’S million — STRAUS raises the alarm — Spending a bunch on LUNCH

Original article published on POLITICO by Stephanie Murray ( available here

MARKEY’S MILLION — Sen. Ed Markey raised $1 million for his reelection campaign this quarter. The haul comes after Markey spentthe second half of the summer fending off Democrats vying for his Senate seat — labor attorney Shannon Liss-Riordan, businessman Steve Pemberton, and Rep. Joe Kennedy III. Pemberton recently dropped out of the race.

And heading into the final quarter of the year, Markey is reshuffling some campaign staff. Stephanie Swain, who served as national finance director, is shifting into a consultant role on the campaign. Brad Kennedy will take over as national finance director. He previously served as deputy finance director. The shift is part of an effort to get the campaign team centered close to Boston, according to Markey senior campaign director John Walsh.

Markey reported having $4.4 million in cash on hand in the quarter that ended Sept. 30. He spent around $799,000 in that time frame. According to his FEC report, the bulk of that spending was $195,000 on digital ads.

Markey’s campaign cash puts him ahead of Kennedy, who reported raising $680,000 over the last three months. It’s not a direct comparison, though. Kennedy officially jumped into the Senate race on Sept. 21, a little over a week before this quarter’s fundraising deadline.

Kennedy and Markey remain closely matched when it comes to cash on hand. Markey has $4.4 million in his war chest, and Kennedy has just under $4.3 million.

NEW THIS MORNING: VOTER PROTECTION CORPS — Quentin Palfrey is on a mission to prevent voter suppression in 2020. The former candidate for lieutenant governor will serve as chair of the newly-launched Voter Protection Corps, which is being rolled out today. The organization’s advisory board includes Rep. Jim McGovern, and Dewey Square Group co-founder Charles Baker III.

The Voter Protection Corps is made up of election law attorneys, political strategists and tech experts with campaign expertise. The goal is to build a “state-by-state playbook” to combat voter suppression heading into the 2020 election.

“We have to be clear-eyed about the reality that voter suppression efforts are likely to hit new extremes in 2020, and that many of the legal and judicial checks that helped protect the vote in the past have been badly eroded,” Palfrey said in a statement. “Voter Protection Corps will start laying the groundwork, immediately, for what is going to have to be a massive effort to protect the rights of all eligible voters.”

The group plans to put together a database of past incidents of voter suppression all over the country, in order to combat those tactics in the future. The organization will also develop strategies, trainings and materials to bolster voter protection efforts at the state level, and build a network of voter protection volunteers.

Also on the Voter Protection Corps advisory board are Virginia Rep. Abigail Spanberger, New Jersey Rep. Josh Gottheimer, and Illinois Rep. Lauren Underwood, among others. Palfrey ran for lieutenant governor alongside Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jay Gonzalez last cycle. He also served as Ohio voter protection director for President Barack Obama’s 2008 campaign.

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TODAY — Gov. Charlie Baker speaks at Black Men’s Advocacy Day at the State House. Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito chairs a meeting of the Governor’s Council. Polito visits John T. Fallon State Pier. Boston Mayor Marty Walsh speaks at the groundbreaking for the new East Boston Police Station, and attends the East Boston Golden Age installation and Halloween party. Walsh attends the Rosie’s Place annual fundraising event “Funny Women.”

Attorney General Maura Healey speaks at the Consumer Solar Summit in Cambridge. Presidential candidate and former Gov. Bill Weld speaks at Tufts University. The House meets in formal session. Today is the last day to register to vote in the Boston municipal election.

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