Congressional Hopeful Joseph P. Kennedy III Arrives in Hollywood for Political Cash Plea

11:12 AM PST 03/21/2012 by Tina Daunt
Kayana Szymczak/Getty Images

Entertainment industry Dems, led by cousins Bobby and Maria Shriver, roll out the red carpet in Santa Monica for the young Kennedy, who is running for Barney Frank's Massachusetts seat.

With President Barack Obama’s reelection campaign suddenly riding the surge of economic recovery and his potential Republican challengers seemingly locked in the political equivalent of a circular firing squad, you’d think Hollywood Democrats have enough to lift their spirits these days. But there’s more—a new Kennedy to support.

Joseph P. Kennedy III is running for the Massachusetts congressional seat Barney Frank vacated when he decided to retire, and this evening, Bobby Shriver (a cousin) and Malissa Feruzzi will host a fundraiser for the 32-year-old grandson of the late Robert F. Kennedy and the son of former Rep. Joseph P. Kennedy II at their Santa Monica home. Also hosting are former California first lady Maria Shriver, Vicki Kennedy, Maxwell Kennedy, Rory Kennedy, Mark Bailey and John Emerson.

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The list of co-hosts reads like a roster of Kennedy loyalists and A-list Democratic donors, including: Lynda and Stewart Resnick, Keely and Pierce Brosnan, Kelly Meyer, Lena Kennedy, Yolanda “Cookie” Parker, Lyndie Benson, Jill Goldman, Leslie and Greg Helmer, John J. Kennedy, Tom Soto, Wendy Mitchell and Richard Katz. Tickers for the evening event are scaled from $2,500 to $500.

Kennedy, whose slightly unruly shock of bright red hair makes him one the family’s most Irish looking members, has not only a golden political pedigree but an impressive resume: Stanford, where he majored in industrial engineering and captained the lacrosse team, Harvard Law, a stint in the Peace Corps and one with a public interest law firm that provides free assistance to people fighting foreclosure of their home mortgage. More recently, he has worked as a deputy district attorney in the Boston area.

Frank, one of the veteran Democratic leaders in the House, elected to step down after reapportionment redrew the boundaries of this 4th Congressional District. Early indications, however, are that Kennedy is finding the new district congenial. The most recent poll of his potential constituents -- which was conducted by the University of Massachusetts -- found that slightly more than three-quarters of them have a favorable impression of the new Kennedy on the block and currently favor him over his Republican rival, Sean Bielat, by a 32-point margin, 60-28 percent.

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