Martha Coakley, Massachusetts' popular attorney genera, lost the biggest election of the Obama era when she fell to Scott Brown. Is she now going to suffer the same fate in her re-election campaign as attorney general? The Boston Globe reports she has an unexpected challenger after lawyer James McKenna ran a successful write-in primary campaign to get himself on the November ballot as a Republican:

Although the battle is a steep one for the political unknown, McKenna's foray into the race seems to have upended Coakley's political assumptions for a second time this year. When she was thought to be running unopposed, Coakley agreed to a participate in a public finance campaign that will cap her campaign spending at $625,000. This could leave her vulnerable to an onslaught of advertising if outside groups weigh in on her campaign, as they did in the US Senate race.

It was Coakley's performance in the Senate race that led McKenna, who most recently was chief legal counsel to the GOP nominee for auditor, to run against her.

"I couldn't let this go unopposed,'' McKenna said in an interview yesterday. "I couldn't just sit back and say this is someone else's responsibility.''

But Coakley said in a phone interview last night that she has always expected a challenge and prepared for one. Indeed, she said, she is ready for it.

"I've been ready to go since February,'' she said.

Coakley probably won't lose this race. The Globe reports that she has $500,000 in the bank, compared to McKenna's $2,000, although she did accept public financing that caps her campaign spending.

Read the full story at the Globe.

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