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Pignatelli and Mark Supporting Grossman for Governor
By Andy McKeever On: 12:48PM / Friday June 13, 2014

William "Smitty" Pignatelli is supporting Steven Grossman for governor.

LENOX, Mass. — Treasurer Steven Grossman is expected to win this weekend's Democratic convention.

State Rep. William "Smitty" Pignatelli is hoping Grossman will be the next governor.

"I think he is the only Democrat in the field currently that can win in November. Any one of these candidates can win in the primary, but the Democrats have to look at who win in November," Pignatelli said earlier this week.

"We know who the Republican is going to be. It is going to be Charlie Baker and he is going to be well-financed, really organized, and we have to put up somebody who can go toe to toe with him."

The dean of the Berkshire delegation expects Grossman to "run away" with this weekend's convention.

"He makes it personal. He looks you in the eye and tells you why he wants to be governor and I think he's making a connection with people unlike any other candidate in the field," Pignatelli said. "For that reason, I think he'll run away with this thing."

State Rep. Paul Mark says he leaning toward Grossman as well.

"It looks like I am with Steve Grossman. I think he would do a really good job working with the Legislature," Mark said on Friday. "I see Steve Grossman as someone who can walk in on day one and get things done."

But, the primary race is "wide open," both Pignatelli and Mark say. The Democratic Party has five candidates running for governor but there hasn't been a "clear cut favorite."

The field consists of two well-know candidates in Grossman and Attorney General Martha Coakley and then three lesser known candidates in Donald Berwick, Juliette Kayyem and Joseph Avellone. The candidates need 15 percent of delegates to be on the primary ballot.

Polls have shown that while Grossman is expected to win the convention, Coakley is still the favorite for the primary. Some polls have even shown Berwick leap-frogging Coakley in delegates at the convention.

"I think it is wide open," Pignatelli said. "I think that shows that there is some good momentum and some great grassroots democracy going on in Massachusetts."

Mark said if all of the candidates could run on the same ticket, that would be an amazing administration because of each of their experiences. But Mark too is expecting Grossman to be the winning of the convention.

"I would predict that Steve Grossman is at the top with the delegates," Mark said, but with limited delegates for five candidates, he expects at least of the five to fall short of the needed 15 percent.

While Coakley and Grossman have been the leading candidates leading up to the primary, the race remains tight. While Pignatelli has come out in favor of Grossman, others have not. State Sen. Benjamin Downing has not and says he might not lend his support to any of the candidates before the primary.

"I just haven't felt compelled to make that statement yet. I fully plan on supporting the Democratic nominee for governor but I don't know if I will involve myself in a primary just yet," Downing said.

Downing, who said he is "skeptical of the power of endorsements anyway," will be active in the election with his role as co-chairman of the party's "coordinated campaign." But looking at the field, Downing says it might be best to let them sort out the nomination on their own.

"No one candidate has caught on fire like Deval Patrick did in 2006 but those five candidates have been out there for the better part of a year plus in some cases," Downing said.

Later adding, "when it gets close, you are better off letting the candidates decide it."

However, in the lieutenant governor race, Downing has already threw his support behind Steve Kerrigan.

"Steve Kerrigan is more than just a candidate I support. We've been good, close friends for a number of years. He is someone who has the skills and the ability to be a successful lieutenant governor for Massachusetts," Downing said.

Pignatelli feels the primary for lieutenant governor is Kerrigan's "race to lose." But, Pignatelli says he hasn't determined who he supports. Mark says he has not yet decided on that race.



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