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Coakley Asks Support In Final Campaign Push

By Joe Durwin
Pittsfield Correspondent
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Coakley speaks with supporters at the Whitney Center for the Arts.
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The attorney general is in a three-way race for the Democratic nomination.
Berkshires native Martha Coakely was in Pittsfield on Thursday, making a swing into the county in the days leading to the primary.

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Gubernatorial candidate Martha Coakley asked for votes and urged financial support as she visited 3rd Thursday and met with a smattering of the local cultural crowd at the Whitney Center for the Arts last week.

"It's always a privilege to come back to Berkshire County, said Coakley, a former North Adams resident and alum of Williams College.  

Coakley, who as attorney general has had jurisdiction over utility rate regulation, said Massachusetts needs to build on current efforts toward greater energy efficiency.

"In the last eight years, we've seen some very interesting challenges and changes," said Coakley, touting her allegiance with Gov. Deval Patrick's administration.

Coakley also reiterated to local voters a revised position statement made earlier in the week in opposition to the proposed Northeast Energy Direct proposal to install a new fracked gas natural pipeline

"We need rich fuels, but I do not support the pipeline plan as proposed by Kinder Morgan," said Coakley. "We have to work to do, we have to get people to the table to meet our energy needs, but that doesn't seem to be the proposal to do it."

Regarding education, Coakley spoke of the importance of science and technology curriculum that also included arts and creativity, and of institutions like Berkshire Community College and the local vocational and technical high schools in economic development for the region.

"Developing that work force," is crucial, said Coakley, "and aligning what our future may look like with the curriculum we have, so that kids who are graduating have those skills."

Coakley also said she would like to increase the state's budgetary allocation for cultural funding.

"It's a tough economy, but we know that it's a good investment for so many reasons," she said. "It's a place where those dollars can be leveraged in so many ways."  

"I'm also happy to have input from you all about other ways that a governor can be a good partner, so that we can structure our government and our cabinet accordingly."

Coakley promised aggressive reform on mental health and substance abuse issues, speaking candidly of the suicide of her younger brother, which she attributed to the stigma surrounding treatment for mental ailments.

"Eighteen years ago this afternoon, he took his own life," Coakley told supporters. "In 2015, we should be dealing with mental and behavioral problems the way we do with cardiac disease and diabetes.  We can do that here in Massachusetts."

According to campaign staffers, Coakley will have a large push of television advertising beginning next week up to the Sept. 9 Democratic primary, and fundraising efforts throughout the state are critical. She will face off against Steven Grossman, the state treasurer, and Don Berwick, former federal Medicare administrator.

"We've had a fairly low-key campaign, but successful campaign because of the grass roots we've done," according to Coakley.  "People are starting to really pay attention [to the election] now, and every dollar we raise now goes into voter contact." 

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Where to vote in Berkshire County

State Election
Tuesday, Nov. 4

Voting is from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Deadline to register or change party affiliation was Oct.15.


Candidates on the ballot in races for state office; all others on the ballot are unopposed. Links will take you to their campaign websites.

U.S. Senator
Edward J. Markey, Democrat
Brian J. Herr, Republican

Governor/Lieutenant Governor
Charlie Baker & Karyn Polito, Republican
Martha Coakley & Stephen Kerrigan, Democrat
Evan Falchuk & Angus Jennings, United Independent Party
Scott Lively & Shelly Saunders, Independent
Jeff McCormick & Tracy Post, Independent 

Attorney General
Maura Healey, Democratic
John B. Miller, Republican

Secretary of State
William Francis Galvin, Democratic
David D'Arcangelo, Republican
Daniel L. Factor, Green-Rainbow

Treasurer
Deborah B. Goldberg, Democratic
Michael James Heffernan, Republican
Ian T. Jackson, Green-Rainbow

Auditor
Suzanne M. Bump, Democratic
Patricia S. Saint Aubin, Republican
MK Merelice, Green-Rainbow

Municipal Elections

The cities of Pittsfield and North Adams will hold municipal elections for mayor, city council and school committee in 2015

You may vote absentee: if you will be absent from your town or city on election day, have a physical disability that prevents you from voting at the polls or cannot vote at the polls because to religious beliefs.

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