Coakley Gets An Opponent

By Adam Reilly



One of the biggest surprises of this year's MA elections was that--despite Scott Brown's win over Martha Coakley in that hugely hyped US Senate election earlier this year--the state GOP couldn't get anyone to run against Coakley for the AG's job this fall.

Well, now it turns out that Coakley will have a Republican opponent after all. Jim McKenna, a former assistant DA in Suffolk and Worcester counties, just made the ballot as a write-in candidate. This is no mean feat. McKenna had to get 10,000 voters to put his stickers (or just his name) in the appropriate section of their ballot Tuesday--and he pulled it off. According to Brian McNiff, a spokesman for the state's Elections division, this is the first time *ever* that a write-in candidate has managed this feat. 

Judging from the numbers posted on McKenna's web site, he was big in southeastern MA--no surprise there, since that's also Jeff Perry country. He also got serious support north of Boston (Andover, Billerica) and in Worcester.

My assumption is that McKenna will have an awfully tough time bumping Coakley off. But by qualifying for November's election, he's put himself in a great position to become a Republican cause celebre--especially given his aggressive conservatism on issues like illegal immigration and Obamacare. I've emailed McKenna in hopes of talking about his platform and background; if and when we connect, I'll post a recap of our conversation on this blog. 

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Adam Reilly Adam Reilly
Adam Reilly is a political reporter and associate producer for WGBH's Greater Boston.


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