ATTLEBORO — The next state election is almost two years away, but potential candidates will be testing their voter appeal when they attend an annual Democratic breakfast in March.
Each candidate will be given time to speak in front of what is often the largest local political event of the year.
Likely candidates for governor Jay Gonzalez and Setti Warren will be among those trying out campaign themes and recruiting volunteers when the Democratic City Committee holds its 20th annual event.
The event takes place March 25 at the Murray Unitarian Universalist Church on North Main Street.
One candidate who would appear to need to shore up her local support, U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., has not committed to attended.
Sen. Warren is not related to Setti Warren.
Despite her high national profile as a critic of President Donald Trump, a poll last week for WBRU radio found only 44 percent of voters say Sen. Warren deserves to be re-elected next year.
Forty-six percent said it is time to give someone else a chance after just one term in office.
The negative feelings expressed in the poll toward Warren are far different from those toward Republican Gov. Charlie Baker.
Baker has a 59 percent favorability rating in the poll. Only 29 percent of voters say he should be replaced.
Setti Warren, the mayor of Newton, and Gonzalez, a former official in former Gov. Deval Patrick’s administration, are apparently not discouraged by Baker’s strong showing in the survey.
They have been making the rounds of political gatherings such as party caucuses and hiring staff in preparation for running against Baker.
Ellen Parker, chairwoman of the city committee, said both men are basically already running, even though the election is not until November of 2018.
Gonzalez has officially announced his candidacy, but Setti Warren has not.
She described Gonzalez as a good speaker who is progressive on issues and Warren as an experienced mayor who is more soft spoken.
Setti Warren grabbed some headlines recently when he spoke out against legislators voting for hefty pay raises for their leadership. Gonzalez has drawn comparisons to Baker because of his experience in both business and government.
Others who are expected to attend and speak include Secretary of State William Galvin, Bristol County District Attorney Thomas Quinn, and U.S. Rep. Joseph Kennedy III.
The breakfast will be cooked by state Rep. Paul Heroux, D-Attleboro.