The five Democratic candidates for governor of Massachusetts used one final debate before this weekend’s party convention to distinguish themselves from one another — even as they agreed on many of the issues in the campaign.
Tuesday’s debate, sponsored by the Boston Herald and Suffolk University, was the candidates’ final opportunity to stake out their terrain before party delegates meet in Worcester. Many of the issues — immigration, casinos, legalizing marijuana, diversity, transportation — had been well-parsed previously.
Joe Avellone, Don Berwick, Attorney General Martha Coakley, State Treasurer Steve Grossman, and Juliette Kayyem were cordial, though there were some pointed comments directed at Coakley.
The candidates reiterated their positions on a proposed ballot question to repeal the state casino law — and the ruling by Coakley’s office that the measure is unconstitutional, an opinion now under consideration by the Supreme Judicial Court.
“Can I say something to the attorney general?” Kayyem said. “When you go after banks or use the force of the attorney general’s office for something good, you always say ‘I, I did this.’ On this issue, it’s ‘we, my office.’ This is a huge issue for this state. . . . You can’t hide behind the we of the office.”
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