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February 26, 2014

Locals split over support for candidate

(Continued)

The only other candidate who had a supporter there was former Homeland Security official and former columnist Juliette Kayyem.

“For me personally, the surprising thing was the lack of Grossman supporters at the caucus,” Sweet said.

Tricia Melvin, chair of the North Andover Democratic Town Committee, said that town’s delegates went to Grossman because his supporters organized them.

“Most of the members of the town committee are Steve Grossman supporters and we were able to put together a group,” Melvin said. “We did not see much activity from the other candidates’ campaigns. No body else had a group of people there supporting their attendees to the convention.”

Andover held its caucus on Feb. 10. Kate Machet, of the Andover Democratic Town Committee, did not return a phone message and email seeking comment about the town’s delegates.

Early polls of voters show Coakley with a 45-point lead over Grossman. However, Cox said that none of the five candidates has generated overwhelming support among the party faithful statewide.

Along with Coakley, Grossman and Kayyem, Joe Avellone III, a surgeon and health care executive, and Donald Berwick, former administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and former president and CEO of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, are running for the Democratic nomination.

On the Republican side, Charlie Baker is taking a second run at the Corner Office, along with Mark Fisher, a small businessman from Auburn.

Coakley holds a 13-percent lead over Baker in a Suffolk University poll released Feb. 4, but Baker led the other four Democrats in head-to-head match ups.

Follow Douglas Moser on Twitter @EagleEyeMoser. To comment on stories and see what others are saying, log on to eagletribune.com.

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