With the mayoral race in full gear, several Massachusetts officials are beginning to consider running in the gubernatorial race in Nov. 2014, with the exception of U.S. Rep. Michael Capuano, who announced on Thursday that he would not run for Mass. Gov. Deval Patrick’s seat and instead, seek reelection for his representative seat.
“After taking time to reflect with my family, I have decided that I will not be a candidate for governor in 2014,” he said in a Thursday statement. “I am truly touched by the support and encouragement I received throughout this process, but believe that I can best serve the Commonwealth in Congress. I will continue to be a strong voice for progressive policies in Washington.”
Michael Albano, former Governor Councilor for Capuano’s former Mass. Congressional District 8, said he was disappointed Capuano was no longer running.
“I am very disappointed by the decision … he would have been an outstanding governor,” he said. “Charlie Baker is going to be a difficult candidate to beat. While I am optimistic about the Democratic candidates, Capuano would have been a clear front-runner and would have brought some intensity to the race. “
In a recent poll from Public Policy Polling on Sept. 25, Capuano had 21 percent of Democratic primary votes, but with him out of the race, those votes have been shifted between Coakley, who now has 57 percent of votes compared to 41 percent when Capuano was in the race, and Mass. Treasurer Steve Grossman with 10 percent, according to a press release.
Although Grossman is not ahead of Coakley in the polls, Joshua Wolf, campaign manager for Grossman, said they plan to focus on Grossman’s experience and proven leadership in strengthening the economy.
“It’s a long campaign, we have a full year ahead of us, and we are going to spend that time talking about Treasurer Grossman’s record, proven leadership in strengthening the economy, both as a business owner and as Treasurer of the Commonwealth,” he said. “If you take that message, it will resonate very well among voters.”
Samantha Hooper, communications director for the Massachusetts Democratic Party, said she is ready for a good race with all the Democratic candidates in the race.
“The Democratic Party has a deep pool of talent, and we are blessed with candidates who will showcase that talent in this election,” she said.
Will Ritter, spokesman for the Massachusetts Republican Party, said the party is excited to have such a strong candidate running.
“We are really excited for [Charles Baker],” he said. “He ran a good campaign in 2010 against Deval Patrick and he is running again. He is a reformer, he has experience both in the private sector and in government turning around complex organizations, and he wants to do that in the state.”
Ritter said he believes all of the Democratic candidates have flaws that voters will not be able to overlook.
“I fully expect that the Democrats will dominate coverage because these are candidates who do not think [Mass. Gov.] Deval Patrick was liberal enough, so we’re going to let that play out and what’s going to happen is you’re going to get someone who is out-of-whack with independent voters,” he said.
Albano said this will be one of the closest races he has ever seen.
“I believe it is going to be a very close race,” he said. “I have been following races for governor since 1968, and in Massachusetts there is a certain amount of Democratic fatigue after eight years of a governor being in the corner office. No matter who gets the Democratic nomination, Baker is a good candidate, a solid candidate, and it will be a close race.”