From Wire and Staff Reports
Gloucester Daily Times
---- — BOSTON — With a video and handshakes in her home town of Medford, Attorney General Martha Coakley today kicked off her 2014 run for the governor’s seat.
Coakley, who has spent the past three years working to rebuild her political brand after losing a race for U.S. Senate to Scott Brown, is expected to spend the next three days barnstorming the state with events in 18 cities and towns, according to a campaign source.
“The attorney general will be discussing her vision of how we continue to improve the economy so that everyone can succeed and launching the next phase of education reform so every child has the skills they need to compete,” the campaign official said.
By entering the race, Coakley joins a Democratic field vying to succeed Gov. Deval Patrick that already includes Treasurer Steven Grossman, former Obama Medicare chief Donald Berwick, national security expert and former columnist Juliette Kayyem, Wellesley biotech executive Joseph Avellone and Cape Cod Sen. Daniel Wolf, who has suspended his campaign while he challenges an Ethics Ruling that could prohibit him from running.
Republican Charles Baker is also running for governor for a second time, while independent Evan Falchuk has declared his candidacy.
Her entrance into the governor’s race will open up the attorney general’s office for contenders in 2014 in a race that could include Secretary of State William Galvin, a Democrat, and Republican Rep. Daniel Winslow, who ran in the Republican primary for U.S. Senate during a special election to fill Secretary of State John Kerry’s seat.
Coakley suffered an upset loss to Brown in 2010 in her race for U.S. Senate following the death of the late Sen. Edward Kennedy, costing Democrats an important seat in Congress with a campaign widely criticized from Boston to Washington D.C. for being complacent.
Since then, Coakley has refocused on her work as attorney general, winning praise for her efforts to secure relief from banks for foreclosed homeowners, fighting human trafficking and challenging the Defense of Marriage Act in the Supreme Court. Her efforts have translated to strong popularity in recent polls and she will try to translate that support into her bid to become the first elected female governor of Massachusetts.
She has also stepped into a key role fighting for Massachusetts fishermen, filing a federal lawsuit challenging the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s alleged refusal to consider the economic impact of its dire limit cuts on Gloucester and other fishing communities, as required under a standard of the Magnuson Stevens Act.
The lawsuit — which has been joined by the state of New Hampshire, as reported in today’s Gloucester Daily Times — also targets NOAA’s use of allegedly outdates science for carrying out stock assessments used in setting the policies and fishing limits.
Coakley has spent for the past eight years as attorney general, elected to the first of her two terms in 2006 when she was the top prosecutor in Middlesex County. Up until a few months ago, Coakley had said she was looking to run for a third term as attorney general, but in late spring and early summer she started acknowledging her potential interest in the gubernatorial race.
Coakley, who has made a number of visits to Gloucester and Cape Ann — she appeared at this past June’s St. Peter’s Fiesta procession, alongside Gloucester-based state Rep. Ann-Margaret Ferrante — also had a strong presence at the Democrat State Party Convention in Lowell in July, when Grossman formally announced his own campaign for governor.
Congressman Michael Capuano of Somerville is expected to announce soon whether he’ll run for governor as well.
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