The Week Ahead On Beacon Hill

Massachusetts early primary is on September 9th, which leaves candidates only two weeks left to grab the attention of voters. There are open statewide races for governor, lieutenant governor, attorney general and treasurer. A Suffolk University poll is expected be released on Monday, after the three Democratic gubernatorial candidates – Attorney General Martha Coakley, Treasurer Steve Grossman and pediatrician Don Berwick – debate on Boston Herald’s internet radio station.

They meet again for a Channel 22 debate in Springfield on Wednesday, and will tape a third debate on Friday, which will air on Sunday on WBZ. Public polling has shown a gubernatorial race that’s stayed largely static; over the last several months, Coakley has held down a lead over her two rivals, while drawing fire from Grossman.

Former health insurance executive Charlie Baker, vying for the Republican nod is facing his own primary, with Shrewsbury Republican Mark Fisher nipping at him from the right. The pair will be at the Boston Globe on Monday for their own debate. President Obama will wrap up his vacation on Martha’s Vineyard, where he golfed, hiked and biked in between a brief trip back to D.C., a Thursday night dinner with Governor. Deval Patrick and his wife, and occasional remarks to address foreign policy issues and the protests over the shooting of a teen in Missouri. He and the rest of the First Family is set to leave on Sunday.Patrick, who spent most of his week in Richmond, plans another week at his home in the Berkshires with nothing yet on his public schedule.

But that all likely means another quiet August week on Beacon Hill, since legislators have largely decamped for their districts as they seek reelection. Just a few of their colleagues are still shuttling back and forth, handling twice-a-week informal sessions that traditionally feature non-controversial bills.


For Susan Kaplan’s conversation with Matt Murphy about the week ahead on Beacon Hill, click the audio player above.