POLITICS
09/09/2014 10:25 pm ET Updated Sep 10, 2014

Massachusetts Could Get Its First-Ever Elected Female Governor With Coakley Primary Win

Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley (D) could make history as the state's first-ever elected female governor if she wins November's general election against Republican and former health care executive Charlie Baker.

Coakley and Baker, who won their respective party primaries Tuesday night, had been the frontrunners for the nomination.

Coakley beat state Treasurer Steve Grossman and Don Berwick, a former federal health care official. Baker only had to defeat a little-known tea party-supported candidate.

The governor's race is a comeback bid for Coakley, who lost her 2010 U.S. Senate race to Scott Brown. Baker lost to Gov. Deval Patrick (D) that same year.

A July Boston Globe poll shows a close race between the two candidates, despite Massachusetts' strong Democratic leanings.

Though Coakley would be the first woman elected governor of Massachusetts if she wins in November, she'd be the second to hold the office, as Republican Jane Swift served as acting governor in 2001 when Paul Cellucci resigned to become the United States' ambassador to Canada.

Coakley has the support of EMILY's List, a group which works to elect pro-abortion rights Democratic women to office. In 2012, the group backed Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), who became the state's first female senator, as well as New Hampshire Gov. Maggie Hassan (D), who is the country's only Democratic woman governor.

Republicans have bested Democrats in electing women to governorships, with four currently in office: Jan Brewer in Arizona, Susana Martinez in New Mexico, Mary Fallin in Oklahoma and Nikki Haley in South Carolina.

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