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April 8, 2014

Democratic breakfast attracts more than 20 candidates

NEWBURYPORT — More than 20 Democrats running for state and federal offices appealed for support before a sold-out crowd of party activists from five Essex County communities at the ninth annual Democratic 3T and 2C Breakfast on Saturday.

The annual event brings together Democrats from the two cities of Newburyport and Amesbury and the three towns of Newbury, Salisbury and West Newbury. It was held at Nicholson Hall on Harris Street.

John Walsh, who recently stepped down as chair of the Massachusetts Democratic Party, said the full roster of candidates showed the party has a “surplus of talent” — in contrast, he said, to the state’s Republican Party.

However, Walsh warned, Democrats still have a lot of work to do to retain their party’s dominance in the state because groups from outside the state are funding tea party candidates to oppose Democrats in local elections.

In a press release, Walsh said Massachusetts has become a leader in education, access to health care, veterans’ services, clean energy and job growth under Democratic leadership.

He said Democrats dug the state out of the Big Dig “financing mess” left by the Romney administration and Charlie Baker, who is running for governor again as a Republican.

The state has also seen its population grow at the fastest rate in 50 years, following years of population decline under Republicans, he said.

Walsh’s successor as chief of the state party organization, state Sen. Tom McGee of Lynn, said polls show Americans agree with Democrats on most major issues.

However, even though “Democrats have a proven track record” of leadership, they will need a big voter turnout in the upcoming elections, according to McGee. He said turnout among Democrats often suffers in off-year elections without a presidential race.

“If Democrats get the turnout, we will win because we have the best candidates and ideas,” he said.

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