A 65-year-old healthcare executive from Wellesley with a packed résumé but little name recognition, Joe Avellone (D) appeals to moderate Democrats and the unenrolled. But if he can’t get them involved in the campaign, he may not even make it on the ballot.
Charlie Baker (R), 57, the presumptive GOP nominee, lost in 2010 to Deval Patrick. While many Republicans blamed Tim Cahill’s independent campaign for the defeat, others blamed Baker’s cold-hearted image. So far, he’s looser and nicer this time around.
Don Berwick (D), 67, of Newton, is like Avellone—a healthcare administrator with an MD—but he’s more liberal, and is best known for helping with healthcare reform. Democratic operatives have reacted well, but are not yet convinced he is viable.
Polls say 60-year-old Attorney General Martha Coakley (D) is the clear front-runner in the race. But memories of her spectacularly mediocre 2010 special U.S. Senate run cast a specter over her candidacy.
Steve Grossman (D), the 67-year-old state treasurer, has been a successful businessman and major behind-the-scenes Democratic Party presence for years; he ran for governor in 2002. He’s a top fundraiser with broad support. The only thing holding him back: his flat personality.
Now 44, Juliette Kayyem (D) is a national security expert and Harvard lecturer who’s worked for the Patrick and Obama administrations; she’s also been a Boston Globe columnist. This is her first run for office and she’s pitching herself as a progressive, but will she mobilize voters?