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(NECN: Alison King) - Mass. Lt. Governor Tim Murray said in a speech Thursday he has his eye on a promotion - to being governor.
Although the aspiration doesn't come as a surprise to anyone who follows politics in Massachusetts, it's the timing that's interesting.
Now that that the 2012 election is one for the history books, Mass. Lt. Governor Tim Murray is wasting no time making his 2014 intentions known.
"Like many of you in the room and many people across the Commonwealth, I would like to be Governor," he said.
Murray did not make an official statement, but his comments sounded suspiciously like an early stump speech.
"You work hard, build a record and when opportunities present themselves and the right time comes, you can make those decisions," Murray said.
Former Boston city councilor Michael McCormack says Murray's best chance at becoming governor would be if Deval Patrick were to leave before his term is over, making Murray acting Governor.
"That would give him a real serious boost," he said. "Otherwise, in a spirited Democratic primary, he's going to have to deal with the issue of November the 2nd."
That is, Nov. 2, 2011, when Murray was in an early morning car crash that raised more questions than answers. That, and his close connection to Michael McLaughlin, the disgraced Chelsea Housing Chief.
"He'll spend more time answering questions about that issue than he will about his good work and bona fides as lieutenant governor," McCormack said.
"Every campaign, every candidate has set backs on occasion and things that go bump, but we're going to continue to work on getting things done and ultimately I think the voters judge you on a whole body of work and not just any one particular issue," Murray said.
One other Mass. Democrat has made it clear he's interested in the Governor's office: Treasurer Steve Grossman, who ran for Governor back in 2002 before endorsing then-Treasurer Shannon O'Brien just a few months before that election.
Grossman says he is taking a hard look at running, and Auditor Suzanne Bump has also expressed interest.
In a poll taken in May, Attorney General Martha Coakley had a strong lead, despite not showing any interest in the job to date.
On the Republican side, Sen. Scott Brown and 2010 gubernatorial nominee Charlie Baker would both be strong candidates.