NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Local News

September 19, 2013

Coakley comes calling

Visit to Port is part of campaign kickoff tour around state

NEWBURYPORT — Martha Coakley would like to have it known that she won her last election.

Coakley, the state’s attorney general, visited Newburyport yesterday to meet and talk with voters, just a few days after announcing that she is running for governor in the 2014 election.

A Democrat, she famously lost the 2010 race for the U.S. Senate when Republican Scott Brown defeated her for the seat once held by party icon Ted Kennedy.

But, in 2012, she was re-elected attorney general, which she is quick to point out.

“This isn’t my first time out since the Senate race,” she noted while taking a break at Caffe di Siena on Pleasant Street. “I was re-elected, and I’m pleased with that. I made mistakes in the race for Senate, and many people, including me, were disappointed. That’s in the past, and I feel good about talking to the people again and discussing how Massachusetts can be better.”

Coakley, 60, acknowledges missteps in the failed Senate campaign and she mentions perceptions when looking back at her upset loss.

“One of the things that hurt about the defeat (to Brown) was the perception of many voters that I didn’t work hard enough,” said Coakley, who had a large early lead in that race. “I worked hard, we all worked hard. In the coming months, we’re going to be busy, visible, meeting voters and listening. I learned that you’ve got to listen as well as talk.”

Yesterday’s visit to the North Shore as part of Coakley’s campaign kickoff tour also included stops in Lowell, Lawrence and Gloucester.

In Newburyport, she approached diners at Angie’s Food and coffee drinkers at Caffe di Siena, while also causing a stir among employees. One staffer at Angie’s said, “She looks better with the longer hair,” and another remarked, “She’s prettier than the photos in the news can show.”

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