STATE CAPITOL BRIEFS - LUNCH EDITION - MONDAY, AUG. 25, 2015

STATE HOUSE NEWS SERVICE

NEW POLL SHOWS GUV RACE TIGHTENING: The newest poll in the gubernatorial race showed much tighter contest than previous surveys as the campaign turns the corner into the final two week before the primary election. According to a Suffolk University-Boston Herald poll, Coakley holds a 12 point lead over Grossman with 42 percent of the vote to Grossman's 30 percent among very likely Democratic voters. Health care administrator Dr. Donald Berwick trails in third place with 16 percent, while 12 percent of likely Democratic primary voters are still undecided. The poll, conducted Aug. 21 through Aug. 24, had a 4.9 percent margin of error. The last SocialSphere/Boston Globe poll released last week had Coakley winning by a 21 point margin. The margin in the Globe poll shrunk to 18 points among voters who definitely plan to vote on Sept. 9. While Coakley held a commanding lead over Grossman among women (49 percent to 26 percent) in the Suffolk poll, she trailed the treasurer by a point among likely male voters in the Democratic primary. Over 13 percent of likely Democratic voters said they would vote for either the Republican nominee or an independent if their preferred candidate losses the Democratic primary, with 7.5 percent saying they would vote for the Republican and 5.75 percent saying they would vote for one of the three non-party candidates on the ballot in November.


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The Suffolk poll also showed former state Sen. Warren Tolman holding a 6-point lead over former assistant attorney general Maura Healey in the Democratic race for attorney general, while former Brookline Selectwoman Deb Goldberg leads the primary race for treasurer with 20 percent. Goldberg's nearest rival in the three-way race for treasurer is state Sen. Barry Finegold at 8 percent, with Rep. Thomas Conroy in third at 7 percent. Also, the three-way race for lieutenant governor is a toss-up with the three Democrats - Stephen Kerrigan, Mike Lake, and Leland Cheung - essentially splitting the small percentage (29 percent) of voters that have made up their minds in the race. On the Republican side of the ballot, expected nominee Charlie Baker holds a commanding lead over political novice Mark Fisher with 70 percent of likely GOP voters to Fisher's 11 percent. - M. Murphy/SHNS

RACINO BACKERS TO MARK STRUCTURAL MILESTONE

With a statewide vote approaching on whether to continue down the casino path in Massachusetts, racino proponents plan to gather Wednesday in Plainville to place the final beam on an expanded gambling facility permitted under the state's 2011 gambling law. According to Penn National Gaming, elected officials, area residents and business and labor leaders plan to mark the completion of the structural shell of the Plainridge Park Casino and express their opposition to ballot Question 3, which would repeal the casino law. At Plainridge Racecourse, event participants plan at 11 a.m. to discuss investments, job creation, and revenue associated with the project. - M. Norton/SHNS

MAN SUING FOR BALLOT ACCESS TO RUN AGAINST CAPUANO

A Randolph man seeking to challenge Congressman Michael Capuano is suing Secretary of State William Galvin for ballot access after he allegedly received inconsistent information from town and state officials. Jason Lowenthal, who is running under the Green-Rainbow Party banner, claims state officials told him to use white forms to collect signatures, but when he attempted to turn in 3,000 signatures local officials said they were invalid because the forms are designated for major party candidates only. In a press release Monday from the Green-Rainbow Party, Lowenthal claims state election officials told him to use the white forms, although there are separate tan-colored forms for candidates who are not running as a member of the two major parties. On his website, Lowenthal said he launched his bid after frustrations attempting to clear his name from false allegations on a website claiming he is a level three registered sex offender in Barnstable, a place he said he had only visited. Lowenthal claims he reached out to Capuano and others, and the Somerville Democrat's advice was for Lowenthal to tell potential employers to contact the congressman's office to clear up the misinformation. "Since announcing my candidacy, incumbent Capuano's office has finally been proactive in helping me correct this egregious error, but it is too little too late," Lowenthal wrote on his website. Lowenthal is not listed as a level three sex offender through the Sex Offender Registry Board. - A. Metzger/SHNS