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Coakley Tops $2 Million in Massachusetts Senate Bid

Democrat Martha Coakley, Massachusetts’ Attorney General, topped $2 million in her first month of fundraising for the contest to fill the late Edward M. Kennedy‘s U.S. Senate seat.

That figure — released Thursday, a day after the third-quarter reporting period ended — was more than double the original goal set by Coakley’s campaign. And it confirmed Coakley’s status as the widely perceived front-runner for the Dec. 8 Democratic primary, which will precede the Jan. 19 special election.

Coakley is opposed in the primary by Rep. Michael E. Capuano; Stephen Pagliuca, managing director of the financial firm Bain Capital and a co-owner of the NBA’s Boston Celtics; and Alan Khazei, co-founder of the City Year national volunteer program.

The Democratic nominee will likely be a strong favorite to win the seat in Massachusetts, one of the party’s premier strongholds. The winner of the general election will succeed interim Sen. Paul G. Kirk Jr., a longtime Kennedy associate and former Democratic National Committee chairman who was appointed by Democratic Gov. Deval Patrick and sworn in Sept. 25, exactly a month after Kennedy died of cancer.

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