Coakley wins primary to replace Kennedy

The Massachusetts state attorney general won the Democratic nomination easily; she's likely to win the general too


Alex Koppelman
December 9, 2009 7:32PM (UTC)

Tuesday night, Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley won the Democratic primary in a special election to replace the late Sen. Ted Kennedy. If all goes as expected, she'll win the general election, held early next year, and be sworn in to the Senate.

Coakley was the front-runner going into the night, but her margin of victory was still impressive. In a four-way race, Coakley still managed to pick up a plurality of 47 percent, beating Rep. Michael Capuano's 28 percent and the 13 percent and 12 percent that Alan Khazei and Stephen Pagliuca were able to pull in, respectively.

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Beyond just giving Coakley the opportunity to take Kenedy's place in the Senate, Tuesday's vote represented a milestone for Massachusetts: This is the first time either party has nominated a woman for one of the state's Senate seats.


Alex Koppelman

Alex Koppelman is a staff writer for Salon.

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