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Watch: Democratic candidates for Massachusetts attorney general spar in televised debate

From left, Andrea Campbell, Quentin Palfrey and Shannon Liss-Riordan debate at GBH in the primary contest for Massachusetts attorney general.
GBH News
From left, Andrea Campbell, Quentin Palfrey and Shannon Liss-Riordan debate at GBH in the primary contest for Massachusetts attorney general.

The first televised debate between the three Democratic candidates for Massachusetts attorney general got heated at times.

Appearing on Greater Boston, former state prosecutor Quentin Palfrey and labor attorney Shannon Liss-Riordan aimed most of their attacks toward former Boston City Councilor Andrea Campbell, who was endorsed by current Attorney General Maura Healey on Boston Public Radio just hours earlier.

Palfrey repeatedly noted that Campbell received support from a super PAC in the last year and questioned whether she would stand up against special interests as a result. The PAC he referenced, called "Better Boston," supported Campbell in her bid for mayor last year.

In response, Campbell stated that she was “accountable to the people and always [has] been.” She also called Palfrey's comments "blatant lies and disinformation." She said that she has not taken any special interest money in her campaign for attorney general and that 95% of her earnings have come directly from Massachusetts residents.

Palfrey also emphasized some of the differences he sees between himself and Campbell, including the fact that he supports Medicare for all, supervised injection sites, a cap on charter schools, and rent control.

While Campbell stopped short of saying she supports supervised injection sites, rent control and Medicare for all, she did say that she "would not stand in the way" if cities and towns wanted to implement such measures.

Throughout the debate, Liss-Riordan repeatedly touted her experience as a practicing lawyer, noting “we need a seasoned attorney who knows how to enforce [the] laws.”

Both Campbell and Palfrey pushed back on the suggestion that they do not have sufficient legal experience to be attorney general.

Palfrey countered, "Do you believe that assistant attorneys general are practicing lawyers? Because when you say that we're not practicing lawyers, you undermine the work that the office does."

“All of us come back a legal background that is unique and distinct," Campbell said.

This story was originally published by GBH News.

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