It's a Coakley-Baker showdown; Healey wins AG race; Kerrigan, Polito for Lt. Gov.

Author:Kievra, Bob

Byline: Bob Kievra

Attorney General Martha Coakley captured the Democratic nomination for governor last night, fending off two well-financed rivals and setting up a November showdown with Republican Charles D. Baker Jr.

Ms. Coakley defeated Treasurer Steven Grossman and health care official Donald M. Berwick to win the nomination, which was up for grabs this year after Gov. Deval L. Patrick declined to seek a third term.

Mr. Baker handily bested his GOP primary challenger, Mark R. Fisher of Shrewsbury, a tea party favorite who accused Mr. Baker of shedding his conservative principles and cozying up to Democrats.

Former assistant attorney general Maura Healey, in her first bid for statewide office, defeated former state Sen. Warren E. Tolman for the Democratic nomination for attorney general. The contest was a spirited affair and polls had shown a tight race until the closing days when Ms. Healey pulled away from Mr. Tolman, who enjoyed high name recognition and strong union support.

The three-way Democratic nomination for lieutenant governor was won by Steven J. Kerrigan, a former Lancaster selectmen. A one-time aide to U.S. Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, Mr. Kerrigan defeated Mike E. Lake, president of Boston-based Leading Cities, and Cambridge City Councilor Leland Cheung.

In the race for the Democratic nomination for treasurer, Deborah Goldberg, a former Stop & Shop executive, defeated state Rep. Thomas P. Conroy of Wayland and state Sen. Barry R. Finegold of Andover.

The Republican gubernatorial contest was the only contested statewide race. Former Shrewsbury state representative Karyn E. Polito is the GOP nominee for lieutenant governor. Michael J. Heffernan is running for treasurer and John B. Miller of Winchester will square off against Ms. Healey for attorney general.

In Worcester, Ms. Coakley captured 48 percent of the vote. Mr. Grossman got 35 percent of the city's vote while Mr. Berwick finished third at 16 percent.

Ms. Healey won the city with 56 percent of the vote. Mr. Tolman, who was supported by Mayor Joseph M. Petty and District Attorney Joseph D. Early Jr., received 44 percent of the city's vote.

In Central Massachusetts, retirements and bids for other offices brought out a number of contested primaries.

In the 17th Worcester District, Leicester Selectman Douglas A. Belanger won the Democratic nomination, defeating former legislative aide Moses S. Dixon and former Worcester councilor-at-large Michael J. Germain.

The seat had been...

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