On the Republican side, Charles Baker, former chief executive of Harvard Pilgrim Health Care and the 2010 Republican nominee for governor, is weighing another run for the job.
Former U.S. Sen. Scott Brown has also been mentioned as a possible GOP candidate.
The jockeying takes place 14 months before the party primaries for governor will be held.
Grossman, a former chairman of the Democratic National Committee, leaves the starting blocks with a clear early fundraising advantage, having reported $565,158 in his political account at the end of June. He raised more than $139,000 in the month of June alone.
Recent polls suggest that Coakley remains popular with Massachusetts voters despite her upset loss to Brown in the 2010 special election to succeed the late U.S. Sen. Edward Kennedy.
Coakley has also been building up her campaign account. As of the end of June, she had a balance of nearly $256,000.
Democrats are feeling enthused following U.S. Sen.-elect Edward Markey’s victory over Republican Gabriel Gomez in last month’s special U.S. Senate election to fill the seat left vacant by John Kerry’s resignation. But they are also keenly aware of the 16 years that Republicans controlled the governor’s office before Patrick’s election in 2006.
The declared Democratic candidates boasted of progressive credentials and touted executive experience.
Berwick, a former Obama administrator, said Hubert Humphrey was right when he said, “The moral test of government is how it treats those in the dawn of life, the children, in the twilight of life, the aged, and in the shadows of life, the sick, the needy, and the handicapped.”
Wolf, founder of Cape Air, told delegates that climate change needs to be addressed and the false divide between economic health and a healthy environment must be erased.
Avellone, a corporate senior vice president of PAREXEL International, a global drug development company, said big businesses are needed as part of the push to create jobs.
“We have to think big and if we think big, we can succeed,” he said.