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Setti Warren draws on old Dukakis team

It’s the return of the old Dukakoids. (That’s the term Governor Bill Weld’s folks gave them as they swept many of former governor Michael Dukakis’s team out of the State House in 1991).

Newton Mayor Setti Warren, whose father, Joe Warren, was a key figure in Dukakis’s political operations in the 1980s, has pulled together a finance committee for a potential run for governor that is full of people from the former governor’s network.

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Phil Johnston, Lenny Aronson, Leon and Brenda Braithwaite, Barry Weiner, Kris Balderston, and Steve Grossman, among others, have joined Dukakis and his wife, Kitty, to serve on the 40-member finance team for Warren’s yet-to-be announced run for governor.

Warren, who interned in Dukakis’s health and humans services secretariat when he was a student, watched as his father served as Dukakis’s point-man in the African American community in his second and third terms.

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The elder Warren, who served as assistant secretary of education under Dukakis in the 1970s and then worked as a professor and an administrator at Northeastern University, headed up what was casually known as the Warren Commission, a group of prominent Massachusetts African-American leaders who reached out across the country to promote Dukakis’s 1988 presidential bid. He died at 71 in 2010.

The Newton mayor is expected to decide in the next several months whether to join the only declared Democratic candidate, Jay Gonzalez, in the race for 2018 party nomination.

“While I have not yet made a final decision, the formation of a volunteer finance committee is one of the many important steps we are taking to prepare for a possible campaign,” Warren said.

Frank Phillips can be reached at frank.phillips@globe.com.
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