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July 8, 2013

In Mass., voters face seemingly endless elections

BOSTON (AP) — Massachusetts voters weary over the state's seemingly endless succession of elections be warned: the parade of candidates isn't ending any time soon.

The state's third Senate election in four years has just wrapped up, but attention is already turning to a slew of upcoming races.

Candidates are lining up for the next special election — this one to fill the congressional seat of newly minted Sen.-elect Edward Markey. And in Boston more than a dozen would-be successors to Mayor Thomas Menino are spending the summer courting voters.

But the biggest contest on the horizon is next year's governor's race.

Neither Gov. Deval Patrick nor former Lt. Gov. Tim Murray is running, leaving no clear Democratic front-runner.

Attorney General Martha Coakley, state Treasurer Steven Grossman, U.S. Reps. Michael Capuano and Stephen Lynch, Somerville Mayor Joseph Curtatone, and state Sen. Daniel Wolf of Harwich are among the Democrats considering running.

Two lesser-known Democrats — Donald Berwick, a former top health care official in President Barack Obama's administration, and Joseph Avellone, a life sciences company executive and former Wellesley selectmen — have already announced their campaigns.

There's an equally open field on the Republican side, although two possible candidates are getting the most attention — former gubernatorial candidate and one-time CEO of Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Charles Baker and former U.S. Sen. Scott Brown.

Democrats could get an early look at their potential field next Saturday, when the party holds its annual convention in Lowell.

Massachusetts Democratic Party Chairman John Walsh said that while only declared candidates can address the more than 3,000 expected party faithful, undeclared hopefuls are also expected to attend to try to scope out their chances.

"It's an opportunity for the candidates who are already running to make an introduction to most of the people who will be delegates next year," Walsh said. "I expect all of the candidates will be working the floor."

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