Coakley coasts through Democratic primary

Chris Rizo Dec. 8, 2009, 9:14pm

Martha Coakley (D)

BOSTON (Legal Newsline)- Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley on Tuesday defeated three other candidates to win the Democratic nomination in the race to succeed the late U.S. Sen. Edward Kennedy.

Coakley handily beat out U.S. Rep. Michael Capuano for the Democratic nomination. During the primary, Coakley also went up against Boston Celtics co-owner Stephen Pagliuca and City Year co-founder Alan Khazei.

With 91 percent of the Bay State precincts reporting, Coakley had 47 percent of the vote, while Capuano finished with 28 percent support.

On the Republican side, state Sen. Scott Brown won the GOP nomination, beating businessman Jack E. Robinson. But with only 11 percent of Bay State voters registered as Republicans. Brown faces an uphill battle against the popular attorney general.

Kennedy, who held the Senate seat for 47 years, died in August of brain cancer.

If Coakley ultimately wins the Jan. 19 special general election, she would be the first woman elected to the U.S. Senate from Massachusetts. She would also become the 18th woman sitting in the 100-member U.S. Senate.

Coakley was elected state attorney general in 2006. She began her legal career in 1979, practicing with two Boston law firms before joining the Middlesex District Attorney's Office in 1986.

She worked as a special attorney on the Boston Organized Crime Strike Force and later ran the Child Abuse Prosecution Unit for the district attorney's office. She was elected district attorney in 1998.

From Legal Newsline: Reach staff reporter Chris Rizo at

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