By Andy McKeever On: 01:21PM / Sunday October 19, 2014
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — As Maura Healey’s campaign for Attorney General enters the final weeks leading up to the November general election, the candidate is rallying the vote.
But not for herself.
On Saturday, Healey rallied area Democrats and volunteers for Martha Coakley’s campaign for governor.
“Seven years ago Martha Coakley gave me he opportunity of a lifetime. She scooped me out of private practice and made me head of her civil right’s division. She empowered me and she empowered others in that office to go out every day and fight for people in this state,” Healey said.
In the Democrats’ South Street office she told supporters that Coakley has led the fight for economic and social justice in the attorney general’s office.
“She knows as governor she will have an even greater platform to expand equality, to expand fairness,” Healey said.
Recapping Coakley’s work on such topics as the Defense of Marriage Act, foreclosures, and women’s reproductive rights, Healey said Coakley has the values to move the state forward.
While Healey may have been focused on Coakley during Saturday’s event, the Democrats are united in pushing for the entire ticket, which includes Healey for attorney general.
State Sen. Benjamin Downing has headed the Democrats’ statewide “coordinated campaign,” which aims to united the party after the primary into one effort in the general election.
“They’ve (Republicans and Independents) been able to focus on Nov. 4 since all the way back then. Our candidates were laser-like focus on Sept. 9. Our job at the coordinated campaign is making sure that our greatest strength, our talented pool of candidates, isn’t used against us,” Downing said.
With just 17 days left, the campaign is switching from an effort to convince independents to vote for the Democratic ticket to an effort to get their supporters to the polls.
“We’re switching from a persuasion universe. We’re building off of what we’ve been doing for the past several months for Maura Healey, for Deborah Goldberg, for all of these folks, talking to friends, neighbors, folks who may be undecided. We’re switching from that to a turnout universe,” said Jerry Thompson, who is heading the regional “get out the vote campaign.”
“We’re focusing on really pulling out our voters.”
Thompson said a strong “ground game” of volunteers reminding voters who support Democratic candidates or are likely to support Democratic candidates can sway the election by as much as 5 percent.
“This field program can really make or break everything,” he said.
That five percent could prove to be very big in this gubernatorial election because Republican Charlie Baker and Coakley are polling dead even. State Rep. Tricia Farley-Bouvier says Baker’s campaign as a lot more money to finish the final two weeks with an array of advertisements.
“All the money in the world isn’t going to win an election if you don’t have a ground game,” she said.
Locally, Donna Todd Rivers has taken on coordinating volunteers for the final push. Across the walls of the campaign headquarters are large notepads asking for volunteers to fill hours in the final days.
The Democrats say they want to reach thousands of voters multiple times, so a lot of volunteer hours are needed.
But, they say that is what need to happen to continue what Gov. Deval Patrick has started over the last eight years.
“We have had a tremendous governor for the last eight years and I miss him already. But we have to look to the future. We have a slate of candidates who will continue that good work,” said Mayor Daniel Bianchi.
Other elected officials at Saturday’s rally were state Rep. Paul Mark, District Attorney David Capeless and City Councilors Nicholas Caccamo and Kathleen Amuso. Dan Johnson was in on hand representing U.S. Rep. Richard Neal.