Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Chicago native Patrick gets Democratic nod in Mass

Deval does it
Front-runner Deval Patrick wins Democratic primary

by christina wallace / metro boston

SEP 20, 2006
BOSTON — Deval Patrick was victorious last night, handily winning the Democratic gubernatorial primary with 50 percent of the vote.

Patrick edged out venture capitalist Chris Gabrieli with 28 percent and Attorney General Tom Reilly with 23 percent of the vote.

If elected in November, Patrick, 50, will be the state’s first black governor and the first Democrat in the corner office in 15 years. Last night’s victory marked the first time an African-American won a major party’s nomination for governor here.

A Milton resident, Patrick jumped ahead of the other two candidates in April 2005. In recent months, the three-way contest for a spot on the ballot grew extremely contentious with candidates spending unprecedented amounts of money for a primary on television spots and other advertising. Polls as early as this summer showed Gabrieli, Reilly and Patrick in an almost dead heat, but in recent weeks Patrick’s lead grew stronger with polls indicating he was more than 20 points ahead.

A former assistant U.S. attorney general under President Bill Clinton and general counsel for the Coca-Cola Co., Patrick fought his way out of the South Side of Chicago where he spent his childhood on welfare. He was granted a scholarship to Milton Academy, where he attended high school, and later went on to graduate college and law school at Harvard University.

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