When Lieutenant Governor Tim Murray announced the other day that he would resign his office, it drew my attention to the 2014 state election which, while it seems far off but really isn’t. There is no provision for filling a vacancy in the office of Lt Governor so there’s no buzz around who will be appointed to fill out that term, but that vacancy makes Secretary of State Bill Galvin first in the line of gubernatorial succession so anytime Deval Patrick leaves the Commonwealth, Secretary Galvin will be in charge. I happened to be in Boston yesterday for a meeting and more than one person was speculating about the Governor leaving early to join the Obama Administration which would make Galvin governor. Patrick has repeatedly said he will serve his full term and I think he means it, but things can always change.
Assuming there is no sudden change in the top, it seems that the most likely candidates for governor are State Treasurer Steve Grossman and Congressman Mike Capuano for the Democrats and Charlie Baker for the Republicans. Grossman has been campaigning in Lowell and already has commitments of support (I believe) from Steve Panagiotakos, Kevin Murphy and others. Capuano, should he choose to run, could probably count on the support of many of those who were involved in the local Elizabeth Warren and Ed Markey campaigns due to his progressive record on many issues.
Long before Murray’s resignation, it was clear the office of Lt Governor would be an open seat so there will probably be a host of candidates for that job. I think Democrat Mike Lake, who ran for Auditor last time I believe, has already announced for LG but I can’t think of anyone else overtly in the race now. Assuming Secretary of State Galvin, Attorney General Martha Coakley, and Auditor Suzanne Bump all seek reelection, the race for those three offices should be subdued (although any one of those three could easily seek another position). Then you have State Treasure which would not have an incumbent should Grossman follow through on his governor’s campaign. I’ve heard that State Senator Barry Finegold will run for State Treasurer. Certainly there would be others, but Barry’s candidacy for that office would mean he would not seek reelection to the state senate which would generate a vigorous campaign for that seat among those in Lawrence, Andover, Tewksbury and Dracut.
At the county level, there might be two contentious races. Gerry Leone announced some time ago that he would not run again for Middlesex District Attorney and has since resigned. Marian Ryan, appointed by Governor Patrick to serve the unexpired term, will run for the office in her own right. It will be interesting to see if her incumbency keeps others from jumping in and running for DA which could make that a hotly contested election. With the news yesterday that Middlesex Sheriff Peter Koutoujian has formed an exploratory committee for Congress – he would run in a special election that would be called should Ed Markey be elected US Senator and have to resign his House seat – means that the office of Sheriff could also be on the ballot in 2014.
Then we have the U.S. Senate seat now being sought by Ed Markey and Gabriel Gomez. Whoever wins the special election on June 25 will be on the ballot again in 2014. If you remember what happened with Scott Brown, he won the special election but then lost the seat to Elizabeth Warren in the next statewide election. We might see a replay of that regardless of who wins in June. Should Markey be the victor, there will be a special election to fill his Congressional seat and then whoever wins that will be on the ballot in 2014. If Capuano gets into the governor’s race, his Congressional district would also have an open seat. While our local representatives, Niki Tsongas in Congress and Eileen Donoghue in the State Senate, give every indication they will seek reelection to their current positions, that fact that similar offices close to us geographically will have contested races will just add to the activity in the fall of 2014.
While the 2014 election might seem far off, it really isn’t. A prime opportunity to see just how close it is will come on July 13 here in Lowell at the Democratic State Convention. While this will be only an “issues convention”, it is also prime time for anyone interested in seeking any of the above offices to make an impression on political activists, so it will be a very interesting day in that respect.