Forum to feature three Democrats vying to challenge Gov. Charlie Baker

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This story has been modified to correct the date of the forum.

PITTSFIELD — Berkshire County residents will get their first chance to assess — all in one place — the Democratic candidates vying to challenge Gov. Charlie Baker in this fall's gubernatorial election.

The three candidates — Jay Gonzalez, Bob Massie and Setti Warren — will share the stage at the American Legion Hall in Pittsfield at 4 p.m. Sunday for a candidates forum, according to a news release by the Berkshire Democratic Brigades, the official countywide Democratic organization.

State Sen. Adam Hinds, D-Pittsfield, will moderate the discussion, which will focus on the future of the region and Massachusetts.

The Democratic Governor Candidates Forum will be co-sponsored by the Brigades and the Berkshire Central Labor Council, which represents 26 local unions in the Berkshires.

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Jay Gonzalez is the former secretary of administration and finance for the state of Massachusetts under Democratic Gov. Deval Patrick. A graduate of Dartmouth and Georgetown Law School, he most recently served as president and CEO of CeltiCare Health and New Hampshire Healthy Families. He also served as chairman of the board of the Massachusetts Health Connector, where he oversaw implementation of Massachusetts' health care reform.

Bob Massie has created or led several organizations, including Ceres, the Global Reporting Initiative, the Investor Network on Climate Risk, and the New Economy Coalition. He holds an undergraduate degree in history from Princeton, a master's in divinity from Yale, and a business doctorate from Harvard. An ordained Episcopal minister, Massie was named one of the 100 most influential people in the field of finance in 2002 by CFO Magazine.

Setti Warren has served two terms as mayor of Newton, where he was the first popularly elected African-American mayor in Massachusetts. He graduated from Boston College, where he was elected student body president, with a degree in history, and also earned a Juris Doctor degree from Suffolk University Law School. An Iraq war veteran, he has also worked in the Clinton White House and on the John Kerry presidential campaign.

Baker, a Republican wrapping up his first term, is the most popular governor in the country, according to numerous polls. He announced last November that he will run for re-election.

The winner of the Sept. 4 statewide primary will face off against the incumbent governor on Nov. 6.

Admission to Sunday's forum is free, though donations are encouraged to help support Democratic candidates in Berkshire County and beyond.


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