GOP challenger to Mass. AG Coakley appears to be 1st to win party nomination with write-ins

By Glen Johnson, AP
Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Nearly 30,000 write-ins for Mass. GOP AG candidate

BOSTON — An upstart Republican politician has obtained nearly three times the signatures needed to mount a surprise write-in challenge to Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley, who lost a U.S. Senate race to Scott Brown earlier this year.

The state’s top election official said Tuesday that James McKenna of Millbury garnered 27,711 votes in last week’s primary. The former prosecutor needed 10,000 to qualify for the Nov. 2 general election ballot.

McKenna appears to be the first candidate in Massachusetts political history to win a statewide nomination with a write-in campaign.

The Massachusetts Republican establishment failed earlier this year to find a nominee to challenge Coakley. The veteran Democrat was widely derided after Brown and the GOP won a January special election to replace the late Sen. Edward Kennedy.

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