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July 8, 2013

In Mass., voters face seemingly endless elections


In 2005, a little-known former Justice Department official named Deval Patrick used the convention to garner backing for his long-shot 2006 campaign.

At the moment all eyes are on Coakley, who has a strong statewide political organization and, despite her loss to Brown in the state's special 2010 U.S. Senate race, remains popular with voters.

Coakley is also facing one of the most unusual political hurdles in Massachusetts political history — the curse of the attorney general's office.

Since 1958, five former Massachusetts attorneys general have sought the governor's office. All five — George Fingold, Edward J. McCormack Jr., Francis X. Bellotti, Scott Harshbarger and Tom Reilly — have failed, either by losing their party's primary, losing the general election, or in the case of Fingold, dying before Election Day.

The most recent spate of political churning began with the death of longtime U.S. Sen. Edward Kennedy in 2009.

Since Kennedy's death, the state has gone through a 2010 special U.S. Senate election to fill the rest of his term, a 2012 election for the full six-year term, and the just-completed 2013 special election to fill the remainder of John Kerry's term after he left the Senate to become secretary of state.

Those hoping to fill Markey's congressional seat are already scrambling to round up votes.

There are five Democratic hopefuls: Middlesex Sheriff Peter Koutoujian, state Sen. Karen Spilka of Framingham, state Rep. Carl Sciortino of Medford, state Sen. Katherine Clark of Melrose and state Sen. William Brownsberger of Belmont.

One Republican, attorney Frank Addivinola, has also jumped in the race.

Under state law, the special election will be held within 160 days of Markey formally resigning after being sworn-in to the Senate seat, which could happen this week.

And there are plenty of other political contests in the offing.

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