Massachusetts: Coakley Heavy Favorite to Win January Special

Posted December 9, 2009 at 6:24pm

State Attorney General Martha Coakley won the Democratic primary in the Senate special election Tuesday, putting her on track to assume the seat long held by the late Sen. Edward Kennedy (D) and become the state’s first female Senator.

Coakley will face state Sen. Scott Brown, who easily won the Republican primary, in a special election general contest on Jan. 19.

Given the state’s strongly Democratic tilt, she is heavily favored to prevail in that matchup and continue the state’s tradition of sending strong progressives to Congress.

Coakley led from start to finish in the four-person Democratic field, and she comfortably defeated her nearest rival, Rep. Mike Capuano, 47 percent to 28 percent. Community service advocate Alan Khazei and investor Stephen Pagliuca finished third and fourth, with 13 percent and 12 percent, respectively.

The special election was triggered by Kennedy’s death Aug. 25 from brain cancer. Sen. Paul Kirk (D) was appointed in September to fill Kennedy’s seat on an interim basis, but he did not run to fill the rest of his term, per stipulations that came with the appointment.