In final hours, Healey and Tolman express confidence

Warren Tolman (left) and Maura Healey
Debee Tlumacki/Globe Staff/File
Warren Tolman (left) and Maura Healey

Maura Healey, candidate for attorney general, moved swiftly – shaking hands and asking for votes.

It was Monday afternoon and time was running short in her Democratic primary battle with Warren Tolman. Voters would go the polls in the morning and in just 24 hours, she said to a handful of aides and reporters, the polls would be closed.

Healey looked at her watch.


“Twenty-eight hours,” she said. “But who’s counting?”

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Healey, a former top aide to departing Attorney General Martha Coakley, was doing some final retail politicking outside Park Street station on Boston Common. But picking up votes in a part of town frequented by tourists had its challenges.

“We’re from California,” said one passerby.

“Too bad for you,” said Healey, lightly needling the woman and her companion.

Frank Ramsey, 58, selling hot dogs, sausages, and drinks from a stand beside the station said he was on board. He lives near Healey and had met her before, he explained: “She seems like a down-to-earth woman.”


And there were some prospects. Peggy Nihill had just made a failed attempt to buy Bob Dylan tickets at the Orpheum Theatre (sold out, she was told) when she stopped to give Healey a handshake and a smile.

“I see her on television all the time,” she said afterward.

Nihill, a retired special education teacher from Needham, said she hadn’t yet decided between Healey and Tolman. She had a stack of newspapers at home to review. “But I like what she has to say,” Nihill said.

This was Healey’s third public stop of the day. In the morning, she greeted commuters streaming off the boat at Rowes Wharf before heading over to South Station to shake hands. At Park Street, she was joined by a group of young, chatty supporters holding signs and handing out literature.

“We’ve got a ton of energized supporters,” said Healey, who led Tolman in the most recent Boston Globe poll in the race.


Earlier in the day, Monday, Tolman walked into West Side Foods, which has been selling pizza, burgers, and salads on a busy street in Brockton for 18 years now.

The crowd was small at first. A coterie of aides and supporters – including state Representative Claire Cronin of Brockton and state Senator Linda Dorcena Forry of Dorchester – outnumbered customers for a time.

Tolman, who greeted voters in Quincy and Jamaica Plain this morning, said he feels great a day before his primary showdown with Healey.

“I got a text at 11:11 last night -- 10 people at a regional office for me,” he said, looking down at his cell phone. “And then I talked to my campaign manager and he said we had at least 15 people at 11:11 at our headquarters. We feel like things have come together well.”

The restaurant started to fill up and Tolman, a former state senator and gubernatorial candidate, settled into a familiar routine of chatting up voters and passing out glossy palm cards.

He told landscaper Bruce Galante, 67, that he was the seventh of eight children, the first in his family to finish college. On the way out, Galante acknowledged that he doesn’t know much about Tolman. But he liked what he heard.

“He mentioned he’s a hard-working man, that means a lot to me,” Galante said. “I’m all for the hard-working people, not the non-working people. You can quote me on that.”

Cronin, the state representative, introduced Tolman to Georgia Miller, 83, a retired cashier from Brockton and her friend Phyllis Powers, 79, a retired factory worker from Abington.

He was quick to mention he’s been endorsed by Governor Deval Patrick and Boston Mayor Marty Walsh. As he did so, Powers shook her head no. “You don’t like either of them,” Tolman said, cracking a smile. “Well, I’m here with Claire Cronin, you like her.”

Tolman said he will help senior citizens targeted by fraudsters. The pair seemed to be warming. A few minutes later, one of his aides delivered the retirees’ food from the counter -- ziti and veal for Powers and a cheeseburger and fries for Miller.

“What service, I tell ya,” Miller said. “That’s it, I’m voting for him.”

David Scharfenberg can be reached at david.scharfenberg@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @dscharfGlobe