U.S. Rep. David Cicilline said Thursday that U.S. Rep. Joe Kennedy “would be a great United States senator,” but he stopped short of formally endorsing Kennedy in his high-profile run against U.S. Sen. Ed Markey of Massachusetts.

“Joe Kennedy is a great friend of mine. He has been a great member of the House,” Cicilline said Thursday during an interview at The Public’s Radio. “He would be a great United States senator. If I do an endorsement, I would make sure that you know it here.”

Kennedy and Cicilline have worked together on some issues, such as calling for a heightened emphasis on manufacturing in the U.S. They represent contiguous congressional districts. 

Cicilline first won election to the U.S. House in 2010. After Democrats reclaimed the chamber in 2018, he won a leadership role leading the Democratic Policy and Communications Committee.

With Rhode Island expected to lose one of its two U.S. House seats after the current Census, Cicilline said he hopes to remain in the House if that happens. Rhode Island’s Second Congressional District is represented by Jim Langevin.

In related news, Cicilline said he is supporting U.S. Rep. Richard Neal for re-election. Neal faces a Democratic challenge by Holyoke Mayor Alex Morse, who served as an intern during Cicilline’s time as mayor of Providence.