- Associated Press - Tuesday, September 2, 2014

BOSTON (AP) - A super political action committee supporting Democratic candidate for governor Steve Grossman is using a new television ad to tout the endorsement of a key backer - his 92-year-old mother.

In the 30-second ad, Shirley Grossman calls her son the best Democrat in the race.

“I should know,” she says, “I’ve voted that way since FDR.”

She also says he worked with former President Bill Clinton to fight poverty and as state treasurer invested a billion dollars to help small businesses. She suggests that he smile more.

The ad is paid for by the Mass Forward Independent Expenditure Political Action Committee. Shirley Grossman is one of the PAC’s biggest donors, having contributed $100,000.

An earlier ad by the PAC attacked fellow Democratic candidate Martha Coakley for her opposition to Democratic Gov. Deval Patrick’s proposal to limit people each to one gun purchase per month. Coakley has said the limit is unnecessary and the state should instead focus on illegal guns and keeping firearms away from mentally unstable people.

Another Democratic candidate, Don Berwick, also began airing a new television ad Tuesday.

His ad casts two children in the roles of Grossman and Coakley. It shows the two children “playing politics” by dressing up as the two candidates and bickering in a playground.

“Leadership isn’t trading insults,” Berwick says in the 30-second ad. “It’s delivering results.”

The new ads come as the primary race heads into the final stretch with a new poll showing Coakley maintaining a lead over Grossman and Berwick. Tuesday’s poll found 52 percent of likely primary voters backed Coakley compared with 20 percent supporting Grossman and 9 percent for Berwick. Nine percent were undecided.

The telephone poll of 685 likely Democratic primary voters was conducted from Aug. 25 to Sunday by the University of Massachusetts-Lowell and WHDH-TV and had a margin of error of about 5 percentage points.

Coakley is continuing to run an ad that focuses on her work as attorney general, including what she says is her record of advocating for victims of violence, particularly women and children, and taking on big financial institutions during the state’s foreclosure crisis.

There’s also a Republican primary contest for governor pitting Charlie Baker, the former Harvard Pilgrim CEO and a Weld and Cellucci administration official, against tea party-affiliated businessman Mark Fisher.

A super PAC supporting Baker has looked past the primary with an ad targeting Coakley.

The 30-second spot faults Coakley for underestimating the state’s gas tax during a television appearance while supporting last year’s decision to increase the tax by 3 cents to 24 cents a gallon.

The ad is being paid for by the Commonwealth Future Political Action Committee, which is funded largely by the Republican Governors Association.

In a general election matchup with Baker, Coakley leads by 41 percent to 32 percent, according to an expanded version of the UMass-Lowell/WHDH-TV poll, of 1,624 registered voters. Seven percent favored independent candidate Jeff McCormick while 1 percent backed independent candidate Evan Falchuk. Seventeen percent were undecided, and 3 percent said they wouldn’t vote.

The expanded poll has a margin of error of 3 percentage points.

Patrick is not seeking re-election. The primary is Sept. 9.

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