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Coakley picks up endorsements from Capuano's hometown

Posted by Your Town  November 30, 2009 08:46 AM

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From left former state senator Sal Albano; former Somerville mayor Dorothy Kelly Gay; Martha Coakley, former Somerville mayor and current Southern Middlesex County Register of Deeds Eugene Brune; and state Representative Carl Sciortino.

In a slap at a native son, four prominent politicians who have represented Somerville in recent years endorsed Attorney General Martha Coakley for the US Senate today over US Representative Michael E. Capuano.

The four Democrats said Coakley would be a better successor to the late Edward M. Kennedy. While Capuano is a former mayor of Somerville, Coakley previously was Middlesex County District Attorney and worked with some of the politicians who are now endorsing her.

The four endorsing Coakley are state Representative Carl M. Sciortino Jr., former state Senator Sal Albano, and former Somerville mayors Dorothy Kelly Gay and Eugene C. Brune, who is now Southern Middlesex Register of Deeds.

‘‘I am proud and humbled to receive the endorsement of these accomplished leaders who have spent decades working on behalf of the people of Somerville,’’ Coakley said in a statement.

Capuano’s campaign responded by releasing a list of other prominent Somerville politicians who are supporting his candidacy, including current mayor Joseph Curtatone, State Senator Pat Jehlen, State Rep. Denise Provost, and a raft of current aldermen and school committee members.

But one of those endorsing Coakley admitted he hadn’t even met her until a few days ago, and acknowledged a long-running rivalry with Capuano.

Former state Senator Sal Albano, said he and Capuano never saw eye to eye politically. Capuano was more conservative when he was mayor and before that, on the Somerville board of aldermen, Albano charged, and has since transformed himself into a liberal for political gain.

‘‘He’s not who he really says he is,’’ said Albano, also a former alderman who said he beat Capuano for a seat on the state Democratic Committee about 20 years ago.

Albano said he only met Coakley this week, when her campaign took a picture of the Somerville endorsers flanking the attorney general and wearing blue Coakley buttons.

‘‘I followed her career pretty much when she was district attorney and now attorney general, and I think she’s done a great job,’’ he said.

Unlike Albano, who had nothing good to say about Capuano, Kelly Gay said she supported Capuano’s congressional runs, and has worked with him since 1987, when he was an alderman and she served on Somerville’s school committee.

‘‘I’ve know Mike for a long time, and Mike is a very effective leader,’’ she said. ‘‘But I feel Martha has a better chance of winning the race, and I want to make sure she is elected, and that’s why I’m supporting her. It’s nothing negative against Michael.’’

Kelly Gay said she got to know Coakley when she was district attorney and supported Somerville’s efforts to reduce gang violence. Perhaps contrasting Coakley’s lawyerly, button-down style with Capuano’s two-fisted pugnacity, Kelly Gay said: ‘‘I like the fact that Martha is a quiet leader and gets the job done without too much fuss.’’

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