John Tlumacki/John Blanding/Globe Staff
Democratic Governor Deval Patrick and his Republican challenger, Charles Baker, made a flurry of campaign stops today, seeking to seal the deal with voters and fire up campaign workers in the final days leading to Tuesday's election.
Baker and about 100 supporters traveled in a pair of buses, making a first stop this morning in Foxborough, where the former health care executive promised that as governor he would "be fighting for the people who pay the bills."
He also said his administration would be "four years of focusing on jobs, jobs, jobs."
A crowd of several hundred people in the town center chanted, "We want Charlie. We want Charlie."
Baker's entourage included Republican US Senator Scott Brown, whose upset victory in a January special election shook up the political landscape earlier this year. Brown's appearance excited a small crowd during a lunch stop at a Natick nursery and then at a stop in Worcester.
"I was enthused when Scott Brown was elected," said Scott Hindley, 47, of Hudson, who works in sales and marketing. "I knew he was going to be coming and I haven't seen the real change that Deval Patrick was talking about."
Patrick's day began began in Holyoke at a canvass kickoff, where the governor greeted local union members, shaking hands and speaking with supporters.
“We’ve crisscrossed the state already twice in just the last few days,” Patrick said. “It’s emblematic of what this campaign is about; it’s about the people.”
By noon, Patrick was on a quiet suburban street in Natick, meeting with locals in the backyard of Tim Dooling, where more than 100 supporters ate apples and doughnuts, with Patrick banners strung across fences, before a round of canvassing in the afternoon.
Wade and Danielle Blackman, with 9-month old daughter Magnolia in tow, planned to knock on doors to push the message home in the final days leading up to the election.
“We’ve been through a difficult period, but [Patrick] made tough choices, and the right choices at every juncture,” said Wade, 34, of Natick.
Danielle Blackman, 33, said that Patrick’s record on education was particularly strong compared to his opponent’s goals.
The canvassers, many of whom worked on Patrick’s 2006 campaign, said they were looking toward to Election Day with cautious optimism and nervous concern.
Sandra Sidney, 50, said it’s been difficult campaigning in the current atmosphere, where untruths are as prevalent as fact.
"It’s hard for me to go to people in the face of all of this misinformation and polarization," she said. "There's a lot of caricature as opposed to characterization."
Richard Sidney, 57, said it’s been difficult confronting voters who just want change.
"It's very hard to stand up in the face of the anti-incumbent sentiment," he said. "There's no position there, there's nothing to argue with or even discuss." Some people are just opposed to those in office, he said.
Patrick told supporters and canvassers that he’s most looking forward to finishing the work he’s started, with job creation, education and healthcare reform. Patrick planned to head to Newburyport before wrapping the day up in Lynn.
Independent candidate Timothy Cahill was roaming eastern Massachusetts today in his Jeep Commander, with a caravan of supporters, including his wife and four daughters, a campaign spokesman said. His theme was the importance of job creation and he was visiting downtowns, malls, farmer's markets, and other places middle-class families can be found on their busy weekends.
Jill Stein of the Green-Rainbow Party is also in the race.
Martin Finucane of the Globe staff contributed to this report.
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