Photo: Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call

Rep. Richard Neal, chair of the powerful House Ways and Means Committee, on Tuesday evening defeated his primary challenger Holyoke Mayor Alex Morse in the Democratic primary for Massachusetts' 1st Congressional District, the AP reports.

Why it matters: It's a victory for the establishment wing of the Democratic Party, which took a hit with the primary defeat of House Foreign Affairs Chairman Eliot Engel (N.Y.) earlier this year. Neal had been targeted for his ties to corporate lobbyists and resistance to progressive policies like Medicare for All and the Green New Deal.

  • Morse, 31, is the first openly gay mayor of the small Massachusetts city, and earned endorsements from progressive Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) and the political action committee Justice Democrats, per the Washington Post.
  • Establishment Democrats, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, stood behind Neal.

Between the lines: Neal's position chairing the House Ways and Means Committee, a key panel for passing major health care and tax legislation, gives him immense power in Congress.

  • "People will say what they will say, but I know what he has done, and it would be a tremendous loss to that district to lose the chairman of the Ways and Means Committee," Pelosi said at a press conference last week.

Worth noting: The primary turned ugly last month when the University of Massachusetts Amherst chapter of the College Democrats accused Morse, who was an adjunct professor at the school until 2019, of "taking advantage of his position of power for romantic or sexual gain, specifically toward young students."

  • Text messages obtained by The Intercept revealed that the allegations were part of a plan dating back to the previous October to damage Morse's campaign so that one student leader of the group could win an internship with Neal.
  • Leaders of the College Democrats later apologized to Morse and said that its language "played into homophobic stereotypes that have been used to oppress gay men in politics." The Neal campaign denied any collaboration with the group.

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Ed Markey defeats Joe Kennedy in Massachusetts Democratic Senate primary

Photo: Scott Eisen/Getty Images

Sen. Ed Markey won the Massachusetts Democratic primary for the U.S. Senate on Tuesday evening, fending off a bitter challenge from Rep. Joe Kennedy, AP reports.

Why it matters: The power of the Kennedy name in Massachusetts wasn't enough to overcome the incumbency advantage and progressive credentials of Markey, the co-author of the Green New Deal.

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What they're saying: Ruth Bader Ginsburg was a "tireless and resolute champion of justice"

Ruth Bader Ginsburg speaking in February. Photo: Sarah Silbiger/Getty Images

Democratic and Republican lawmakers along with other leading figures paid tribute to Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who died on Friday night at age 87.

What they're saying: “Our Nation has lost a jurist of historic stature," Chief Justice John Roberts said. "We at the Supreme Court have lost a cherished colleague. Today we mourn, but with confidence that future generations will remember Ruth Bader Ginsburg as we knew her — a tireless and resolute champion of justice.”

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Joe Biden said Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg "never failed, she was fierce and unflinching in her pursuit of civil and legal right and civil rights of everyone," after learning of her death Friday night.

What he's saying: Biden gave a statement after traveling to Delaware from Minnesota, where, earlier Friday, he gave a campaign speech at a carpenters’ training center in Hermantown, a suburb of Duluth. She was "not only a giant in the legal profession, but a beloved figure, and my heart goes out to all those who cared for her and cared about her."