Grossman Wins Dem. Nod For Mass. Treasurer

Steve Grossman, a longtime Democratic Party activist, won his party's primary for state treasurer Tuesday, defeating Boston City Councilor Steve Murphy.

Grossman, the former chairman of the Democratic National Committee, will face off against Republican state Rep. Karyn Polito in the Nov. 2 general election.

"I think the voters of the state made a strong statement today," Grossman said. "The people of this commonwealth want the treasurer to protect the public's money and create jobs."

Grossman has campaigned on his experience running the family business Grossman Marketing Group, which turned 100 this year. If elected, he's pledged to put the state's checkbook online and revitalize the state lottery.

"People want common sense solutions, not rhetoric," he said.

Grossman said he'd expand the reach of the lottery, including selling popular scratch tickets at new locations like Logan International Airport and local tourist centers. He also said he hopes to push annual lottery profits to the $1 billion mark, which would require an increase of about $100 million. Lottery profits are returned to cities and towns.

As a past chairman of the Democratic National Committee, Grossman has spent much of his life helping others get elected to office, including former President Bill Clinton.

Murphy, who also ran a losing campaign for treasurer eight years ago, is a longtime Boston city councilor who portrayed himself as the candidate who best understands the needs of middle and working class voters.

In Massachusetts, the treasurer oversees several functions, including the state pension fund, the Massachusetts Lottery and the school building assistance fund.

The contest is gaining extra attention this year with the decision of incumbent Treasurer Timothy Cahill to jump into the race for governor rather than seek re-election.

Grossman said he hopes to start debating Polito this week, and wants to debate her as many times as possible before November.

"I think it will be a spirited seven weeks," he said of the general election.

Polito says she's a fiscal conservative, not a social activist. She has pledged to propose legislation that would eliminate pensions for new politicians.

Polito said in a statement Tuesday that her race against Grossman will present "a clear contrast" for voters.

"Steve Grossman is a former Democratic Party chairman who has made a career out of defending higher taxes and more spending, and who promises to be a social activist as treasurer," she said. "I am a political outsider and fiscal conservative who will invest our tax dollars with the singular purpose of achieving the maximum financial return."

This program aired on September 14, 2010. The audio for this program is not available.


More from WBUR

Listen Live