Even though the election is more than one year away, the field of candidates is starting to shape up for the replacement of Mass. Gov. Deval Patrick in Nov. 2014.
Mass. Attorney Gen. Martha Coakley announced her campaign in a video on Monday and said she will fight for the hard workers of Massachusetts.
“After some tough years, this state is ready to take off,” she said. “We’re going to create jobs and improve our schools. I want to be the governor who makes sure everyone has an opportunity to succeed as our economy comes back. I know what it’s like to lose a race. I know how hard that is, but it’s nothing compared to what so many people go through every day in their lives.”
Kristen Hughes, chair of the Massachusetts Republican Party, said Coakley has a tough race ahead of her as several other Democrats have declared their candidacy.
“She has a very crowded primary ahead of her full of ultra-liberal people like her, and they’re going to attack,” she said. “She’s really relying on jobs and education, two things which she doesn’t have very much experience with. Jobs and the economy are the number one and number two issues to voters and she has not created a job or helped a business in the private sector.”
The Democratic candidates that intend to run include Mass. Treasurer Steven Grossman, Mass. Sen. Daniel Wolf, former Boston Globe columnist and federal homeland security official Juliette Kayyem, former administrator for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Donald Berwick and biotech executive Joseph Avellone.
Charles Baker, former state cabinet secretary and nominee for governor in 2010, is the only declared candidate for the Republican Party.
Grossman said his experience as treasurer sets him apart from the other candidates.
“What I believe I bring to the race is an understanding of what economic growth, development and security are all about,” he said in an interview with The Daily Free Press. “I’ve been working on those issues for the past three years as a state treasurer. I’m running for governor because I believe the people of Massachusetts want leadership that will leave no one behind.”
Grossman said one of his top priorities if elected will be to help young workers with student debt by trying to create better jobs and paid internships so that college graduates stay in Boston. “Student debt burdens students and their parents, so let’s find creative ways to tackle that,” he said. “I’ve come up with an idea called ‘Teach for Massachusetts,’ where college students make a commitment to teach for five years in one of our older industrial cities, earn a salary of a teacher and a stipend of $12,000 a year so by the end of that five years they have earned $60,000 and paid off their student loans.”
Tom Jackson, spokesman for the Avellone campaign, said Avellone is eager to make Massachusetts more competitive.
“Joe’s top three issues are going to be to close the achievement gap in Massachusetts schools, to fix healthcare costs and to create jobs,” he said. “As the leader of a global organization he knows how to organize the global work force and make Massachusetts more competitive.”
Samantha Hooper, communications director at Massachusetts Democratic Party, said she is excited about the talented Democrats running in the race.
“We have some excellent, qualified candidates in this race,” she said, “Our biggest asset as Democrats is our deep pool of talent, so this primary will definitely showcase that.”