Martha Coakley kicks off run for Massachusetts governor

Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley will run for governor of Massachusetts in 2014, she announced Monday, joining a crowded Democratic contest she is poised to begin as a front-running candidate.

Coakley announced her campaign in a two-minute Web video, casting herself as a populist who will fight for those who have worked hard and faced hardships.

"These folks are the reason I'm running for governor. They need someone who will fight for them, someone who will take their side," Coakley says.

The attorney general is best-known nationally for her failed 2010 Senate campaign. Once an early favorite, a series of Coakley missteps helped open the door for Republican Scott Brown. Brown's unlikely win was an embarrassment for both national and Massachusetts Democrats, and Coakley's campaign absorbed much of the blame.

She appears to allude to the loss in her announcement video, saying it was nothing compared to the struggles faced by many Bay State residents.

"I know what it's like to lose a race. I know how hard that is," Coakley says "But you know what, it's nothing compared to what so many people go through every day in their lives."

Despite her loss, polls show Coakley remains popular in Massachusetts, making her an early front-runner for her party's nod in the open governor's race. She joins a packed field that already includes former Boston Globe columnist and Obama administration homeland security official Juliette Kayyem; former administrator for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Donald M. Berwick; state Treasurer Steven Grossman; state Sen. Daniel A. Wolf, and biotech executive and physician Joseph Avellone.

On the Republican side, 2010 nominee and businessman Charlie Baker is the front-runner.

Sean Sullivan has covered national politics for The Washington Post since 2012.

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Aaron Blake · September 16, 2013

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