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Leading Democratic gubernatorial candidates Martha Coakley and Steven Grossman are aggressively courting delegates ahead of the June convention — efforts that could ultimately force three lesser-known candidates off the ballot and create a one-on-one primary showdown.
With the party’s June convention approaching, the delegate grab serves an important purpose for both Coakley and Grossman: It solidifies the perception of each as the strong front-runners.
Under both Democratic and Republican party rules, candidates need to get 15 percent of the delegates in the first vote at the convention in order to appear on the primary ballot.
The larger the share of delegates captured by Coakley and Grossman, the less room there will be for the three first-time candidates: biopharmaceutical executive Joseph Avellone, former federal health care administrator Donald M. Berwick, and former homeland security official Juliette Kayyem.