- Associated Press - Saturday, February 11, 2017

BOSTON (AP) - The gubernatorial election is nearly two years away but the first Democrat to officially throw his hat in the ring is already hitting the campaign trail.

Jay Gonzalez, the budget chief for former Democratic Gov. Deval Patrick, plans to attend Democratic caucuses at the Arlington Senior Center and Brookline High School on Saturday.

On Sunday, Gonzalez plans to stop by caucuses in Acton and Framingham after attending a house party in Concord.

Republican Gov. Charlie Baker is widely expected to seek re-election in 2018, though he has yet to make any formal announcement.

The names of other potential Democratic challengers have surfaced, including Newton Mayor Setti Warren, but none have formally declared their candidacy.

Baker remains popular among Massachusetts voters and has a hefty $4.7 million in his campaign account.

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