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Merrimack Valley

September 19, 2013

In new bid for Governor, Coakley makes a first stop in Lawrence

LAWRENCE — With just 20 minutes to spare before picking up her granddaughter, Mary O’Brien stopped at Carleen’s yesterday morning to meet Attorney General Martha Coakley who announced this week she is running for governor.

“I think she’s brilliant and a hard worker. And just what we need as governor,” said O’Brien, a Lawrence resident for nine years.

Coakley, 60, a Democrat, made one of her first statewide campaign stops yesterday at the South Broadway restaurant, meeting with some supporters who specifically came there to see her and others who just happened to be in Carleen’s having breakfast. Coakley visited a coffee shop in Lowell and made other stops yesterday in Newburyport, Gloucester and Salem.

Gov. Deval Patrick, a fellow Democrat, is not seeking a third term.

Coakley’s visit to Lawrence came the morning after a preliminary election in which Mayor William Lantigua was the top vote getter in a six-way race for mayor.

Recently, Coakley’s office sued Lantigua for violations of the state’s campaign finance law and failure to report donations.

When asked about Lantigua’s election success yesterday, Coakley noted she can’t comment on the pending suit against him. She did say she understands democracy and “people get a choice.” Then, speaking generally about her role as Attorney General, Coakley said she will continue to pursue all investigations “in terms of the facts of the law.”

Voters are telling her the economy is improving but they are still working hard and concerned about many issues, including affordable education and loans, small business creation and job access, affordable health care and lowering energy costs. She’s well aware the unemployment rate has hovered at doubled the national average in Lawrence.

“I’m talking to people and listening to people about what they want,” Coakley said.

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