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Mass. Governor’s Race Heats Up After ‘Foolish’ Dem-on-Dem Attacks

Deval Patrick (left) called Attorney General Martha Coakley’s recent criticisms on of the “foolish things” said during campaigns.
Gov. Deval Patrick (left) called Attorney General Martha Coakley’s recent criticisms one of the “foolish things” said during campaigns.Bill Greene/Globe Staff

Democratic candidate for governor Martha Coakley’s off-handed criticisms of incumbent Democratic Gov. Deval Patrick were “foolish,” Patrick said in a counter jab among two potential political allies.

In an interview with the Lowell Sun on Monday, current Attorney General Coakley ribbed Patrick by citing two scandals under his governorship. “I don’t think under a Governor Coakley you would have an Annie Dookhan,” she said. “I don’t think under a Governor Coakley you would have a New England Compounding.” Those are references to two issues from these past few years: Dookhan was the former chemist who was sent to jail for mishandling and falsifying evidence in scores of drug cases, and New England Compounding was the pharmacy blamed for a fatal meningitis outbreak from tainted samples.

Patrick pushed back in comments to Fox 25 on Tuesday. “When Martha Coakley is governor, I hope for her the good fortune of not having anyone commit a crime on her watch,” Patrick said. “I’m not worried about that or any of the other foolish things that sometimes get said by candidates during campaigns.”

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As governor, Patrick has enjoyed a positive approval rating, which generally translates to voters keeping the same political party in power. The Boston Globe notes that Democratic candidates have thus far avoided criticizing Patrick, making Coakley’s Dem-on-Dem criticisms come off as unwarranted friendly fire.

As of the most recent polls for the election later this year, Coakley has a lead of about 10 points on her competitor Republican Charlie Baker.

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