Coakley touts gubernatorial bid back home


PITTSFIELD -- Attorney General Martha Coakley returned to hometown territory Tuesday in her young campaign for governor -- meeting voters in Lee, Pittsfield and her native North Adams during a day of barnstorming across the state.

Her sixth stop of the day was at Dottie's Coffee Lounge on North Street, where she greeted more than three dozen customers and supporters during a brief visit.

"Minimum wage -- and keep on those financial guys," one man told Coakley.

"We will," Coakley said.

"We enjoy having Governor Patrick in the Berkshires," a woman said, referring to the governor's Berkshires residence in Richmond. "We would like that to continue."

"It's very close to my heart, this part of the world," Coakley said.

Kyle Sullivan of Northwind Strategies, who is working with the campaign, said that, after seven stops to meet voters Tuesday, there will be at least a half dozen more Wednesday in Lowell, Newburyport and communities north of Boston.

Coakley launched her bid for governor in the 2014 election on Monday. She also announced an 18-stop tour around Massachusetts and the release of a campaign video on her website,

"I'm doing great," Coakley said in Pittsfield, referring to the whirlwind pace of the tour. "It is really energizing, especially seeing high school classmates and others."

Raised in North Adams, Coakley is a graduate of Drury High School and of Williams College.

The prominent issues of her campaign, she said, include economic development fairly benefiting all Massachusetts residents, infrastructure and telecommunications needs and education.

"I want to move ahead the economy, not just for the wealthy," she said.

The state's educational resources are significant and could be better directed to promote individual success and the economy, she said.

She said the Patrick administration has secured funding to address transportation and infrastructure needs long-term, but that momentum must continue. Coakley said she hopes to hear from residents about this and other issues before the state. She urged people to call or email her campaign with questions or suggestions.

"I know I have to earn the trust of voters," she said, while acknowledging mistakes in her losing 2010 campaign for the U.S. Senate against Republican Scott Brown.

She added that after that defeat she returned to her post of attorney general and continued to work hard on behalf of citizens.

Moving the state forward is what is most important in the gubernatorial campaign, Coakley said, adding, "I believe my experience [as attorney general] will enable me to convince voters I have the best chance of doing that."

In the race for governor, Coakley joins other Democrats, including state Treasurer Steve Grossman, former Homeland Security official Juliette Kayyem; former Obama Administration health care official Donald Berwick, and biotechnology executive Joseph Avellone.

Republican Charlie Baker also is running.

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