Ed Markey Cancels Beverly Hills Fundraiser Amid Contentious Senate Race

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Massachusetts Congressman Ed Markey

The Massachusetts Congressman was expected at mogul Haim Saban's home on Sunday.

Ed Markey's Beverly Hills fundraiser set for this Sunday has been canceled. 

The Massachusetts congressman called off the fundraiser at mogul Haim Saban’s compound so that he can remain at home and continue campaigning for the U.S. Senate seat vacated when John Kerry became secretary of state, sources told The Hollywood Reporter Friday.

According to most polls, the veteran House member and stalwart liberal is holding his lead over his Republican opponent, Gabriel Gomez, but the race has become increasingly contentious as the June 25 special election looms closer.

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Given the increasingly negative tone of the contest, Markey may also be wary of being tagged as overly dependent on Hollywood-based, celebrity fundraisers, as Democrat Elizabeth Warren was toward the end of her successful general-election run for the Bay State’s other Senate seat.

An e-mail from Markey’s supporters announcing the cancellation nonetheless urged potential donors to contribute to the congressman’s campaign, which hopes to raise an additional $200,000 in the coming week. Sunday’s event, co-hosted by Haim and Cheryl Saban, was selling tickets ranging from $50 to $500.

Markey was in town in March for a fundraiser headlined by singer-songwriter Carole King at the Bel Air mansion of Walt Disney Studios Chairman Alan Horn and his wife Cindy.