EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Merrimack Valley

September 17, 2013

Coakley launches gubernatorial bid

MEDFORD - Attorney General Martha Coakley threw herself headlong into the 2014 race for governor yesterday morning, discussing economic growth and education as she embarked on a campaign to wash out the sour taste of her 2010 U.S. Senate defeat.

Coakley made the first of six planned stops around Massachusetts at Dempsey’s Breakfast and Lunch in her hometown of Medford, showing up just before 8 a.m. with her husband Thomas O’Connor to greet morning diners before fielding questions about her new endeavor, acknowledging a “long, hard primary” ahead.

She plans to be at Carleens coffee shop in Lawrence tomorrow at 11 a.m.

“I think that I am ready to both lead and listen to people in Massachusetts about what they want. I know we want to continue moving the economy forward, giving people economic opportunity, improving our educational system,” she said. “I’m going to do that as governor and I’m going to work every day to earn people’s respect and their vote.”

Coakley endorsed an extended school day, calling it “time to do that” after more than 15 years of discussion, and said “we’re going to take a look at everything” when it comes to paying for the program, including public-private partnerships. She said the state must work toward “better synergy” between government and the business and innovation sectors, applauding the decision by legislative leaders to repeal a new sales tax on software design services.

The other Democrats in the race for governor have kept low profiles on the campaign trail since their initial announcements, focusing instead on the less public aspects of running for statewide office like raising money, recruiting volunteers and building support with the party.

So far, the only Republican in the race is businessman Charlie Baker. The Massachusetts GOP immediately attacked Coakley, accusing her of making the decision to run for governor based on polls and advice from consultants, while ignoring voters and her party’s grassroots activists.

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