Keller @ Large: Governor’s Race Wide Open

By Jon Keller, WBZ-TV

BOSTON (CBS) – So now that Lt. Gov. Tim Murray has dropped out of the running, who might fill the void in the 2014 race for governor?

Obviously, it’s very early in the process, although none too early to start trying to raise money and lay down an organizational foundation.

With Murray gone, Treasurer Steve Grossman is a front-runner in that regard, with an existing statewide infrastructure of financial and political support still in place from his 2010 election.

And while Attorney General Martha Coakley has said recently she’s not interested in the job, she never said never. (What smart pol ever does?)

Just recently, two political newcomers public declared interest in the governor’s job.

Dr. Donald Berwick, who ran the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services in Washington in the early days of the federal health-care reform law, has been making the rounds, as has Dr. Joseph Avellone, a former Wellesley selectman who was COO of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts.

Don’t laugh.

If we’ve learned anything from the past couple of decades in Massachusetts politics, it’s that governors can and do come from the outsider ranks: Bill Weld (and the man he beat in 1990, the late Dr. John Silber); Mitt Romney; Deval Patrick; and let’s not forget Sen. Elizabeth Warren.

Then again, right now, anyone with time on their hands, political ambition on their minds, and the potential to raise a few million is likely thinking about it.

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