It’s the 11-Day Countdown On Massachusetts Gubernatorial Candidates

At least for the Democratic Party.

The wrap-up of the US Senate special election kicks off the congressional race to succeed Ed Markey (expect a primary on October 22, give or take a week). As a special bonus, the quarterly fundraising-report period for federal office ends Sunday, so if you’re a Democrat with two nickels to rub together, expect desperate pleas for contributions over the next couple of days.

But we’re also about to get a major burst of action in the 2014 Massachusetts gubernatorial race, at least on the Democratic Party side.

That’s because candidates for governor are invited to speak at the upcoming Democratic State Convention, July 13 in Lowell—but only, party spokesperson Samantha Hooper tells me, if they have declared their candidacies in a release and established a gubernatorial campaign account by July 8.

That’s just 11 days away. And as of today, the only ones who qualify are Joe Avellone and Don Berwick. Both are confirmed to speak at the convention, Hooper says.

Sure, the off-year platform convention isn’t likely to pack the Tsongas Arena full. Still, those who will be there are exactly the types of party activists—and likely 2014 convention delegates—candidates need to wrestle for at this stage.

So, over the next week-and-a-half, keep a close eye on rumored potential candidates including congressman Mike Capuano, Somerville mayor Joe Curtatone, Salem mayor Kim Driscoll, former New Bedford mayor Scott Lang, Energy and Environment Secretary Rick Sullivan, and state senator Dan Wolf.

The most likely candidate, state treasurer Steve Grossman, doesn’t have to worry about that particular deadline. As a current constitutional officeholder, he gets a speaking slot anyway. So does state auditor Suzanne Bump, who some think could also join the governor’s race.

Newton mayor Setti Warren, who is also occasionally in that rumor mix (as he is for almost every office), will also get to address the convention, as chairman of the Platform Committee. I’m told that it’s possible that some other committee members will get to speak—and that’s an all-star cast that includes Curtatone, Driscoll, and Wolf. Also on that committee are active or rumored candidates for higher office: Felix Arroyo, Leland Cheung, Katherine Clark, Charlotte Golar-Richie, Peter Koutoujian, Mike Lake, Ayanna Pressley, Mike Ross, Karen Spilka, Lisa Wong, and Michelle Wu.