© 2024
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Baker And Coakley Win Primaries For Massachusetts Governor

Democrat Martha Coakley and Republican Charlie Baker were nominated for governor Tuesday by Massachusetts voters.  The primary produced a low voter turnout, and a few surprises.

For Martha Coakley, Tuesday’s Democratic primary was not the cakewalk predicted by the pre-election public opinion polls that forecast a double-digit margin of victory. The state’s two-term attorney general eked out a five-point win over State Treasurer Steve Grossman. Healthcare executive Don Berwick finished third.

Addressing supporters in a Boston hotel ballroom, Coakley promised to enact universal pre-school, need-based financial aid for community college students, earned-sick time for workers, and to pursue a regional economic development strategy.

" The insiders, the big money, the super PACs, they are not going to decide this election."

Coakley also launched into an attack on her Republican opponent.

" Charlie Baker believes voters won't remember he ran as a Tea Party conservative in 2010."

Coakley, who has already been the target of a television ad paid for by a super PAC, called on Baker to sign a so-called “people’s pledge” to keep outside money out of the governor’s race.

Baker easily defeated Tea Party-backed businessman Mark Fisher to secure his second Republican nomination for governor.  Baker lost to Gov. Deval Patrick in 2010.  Patrick is not seeking a third term.

Baker’s speech came before the outcome of the Democratic primary was known, but he said a vote for the Democratic nominee in November would be an endorsement of the status quo. He went on to reference the corruption in the probation department, tragic failures by the state’s child welfare agency, and the bungled rollout of the state’s healthcare website.

"Instead of a state government that  says it cares, we will deliver one that shows it cares by getting the job done every single day."

Baker, who worked for popular Republican governors Bill Weld and Paul Cellucci, promised to return “balance and bipartisanship” to a state government where the executive and legislative branches are firmly controlled by Democrats.

Three independent candidates for governor will also be on the November ballot in Massachusetts.

Steve Kerrigan, a former aide to Senator Edward Kennedy, won the Democratic nomination for Lt. Governor, an office that has been vacant since Tim Murray resigned in May 2013.  Karyn Polito was unopposed in the Republican primary to become Baker’s running mate.


Women dominate the Democrat’s statewide ticket in Massachusetts. In addition to Coakley, Deb Goldberg won the primary for state treasurer, Suzanne Bump is running for a second term as state auditor, and Maura Healey will try to succeed Coakley as attorney general.

Healey, who headed the civil rights division in the attorney general’s office, energized grassroots activists to produce an upset win over former state legislator Warren Tolman, who had been endorsed by Gov. Patrick, Boston Mayor Marty Walsh and the Massachusetts AFL-CIO.

Healey will face Republican John Miller in November.

The biggest upset in Massachusetts Tuesday was the defeat of nine-term Democratic Congressman John Tierney, who was ousted by Harvard Business School graduate and Iraq War veteran Seth Moulton in the race for the 6th District, in the state’s northeast corner.

Moulton’s campaign played on voter frustration over gridlock in Washington and Tierney’s perceived vulnerability to a Republican challenger because of his in-laws’ connections to an illegal off-shore gambling business.

Moulton will face Republican Richard Tisei, who nearly defeated Tierney two years ago.

Election night audio courtesy of New England Cable News.

The record-setting tenure of Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno. The 2011 tornado and its recovery that remade the largest city in Western Massachusetts. The fallout from the deadly COVID outbreak at the Holyoke Soldiers Home. Those are just a few of the thousands and thousands of stories WAMC’s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief Paul Tuthill has covered for WAMC in his nearly 17 years with the station.
Related Content