SOMERVILLE (FOX 25 / MyFoxBoston.com) - Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren received a boost on Wednesday from none other than Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick.
Gov. Patrick, Warren, and grassroots supporters met on Wednesday at her campaign headquarters in Somerville just days before Democrats head to Springfield for the party's nominating convention.
Warren has endured a rough few weeks following controversy regarding her Native American ancestry. At the event, Gov. Patrick stepped in and responded to a question about Warren's ancestry from FOX 25's Sharman Sacchetti.
In part, Gov. Patrick replied, "On behalf of the people of the Commonwealth, we don't care about that subject."
Sharman Sacchetti asked if Warren could say whether or not she, or any of her schools, filled out federal forms claiming minority status. Warren responded by explaining why she chose to enter the race.
Gov. Patrick also acknowledged that the U.S. Senate primary contest vying to challenge U.S. Sen. Scott Brown would likely feature two women: consumer advocate and Harvard professor Elizabeth Warren, and immigration attorney Marisa DeFranco.
In an e-mail to supporters through his campaign, Patrick said Democrats are "lucky to have two strong candidates," calling both Warren and DeFranco "compelling people with a strong message."
In terms of funding, DeFranco's campaign is no match for the $15 million Warren campaign; however, DeFranco, who calls herself a "fighter," is expected to land a spot on the primary ballot in September.
Gov. Patrick wrote in a letter on Wednesday, "The American Dream defines what it means to be American. Yet for too many people in the Commonwealth today, the American Dream is up for grabs. Elizabeth has lived the American Dream, and knows that it is worth fighting for. She understands that government has a role to play, not in solving every problem in every person's life, but in helping people help themselves."
On Thursday morning, Warren released a statement, publicly acknowledging for the first time that she told officials at Harvard University and the University of Pennsylvania that she had Native American heritage. Her campaign said she gave that information to the schools only after she had been hired.In recent weeks, the scrutiny over Warren's heritage has opened the doors, if even a crack, for DeFranco.
FOX 25 has repeatedly reached out to Warren and her campaign for a one-on-one interview.
Statement from Elizabeth Warren:
Growing up, my mother and my grandparents and my aunts and uncles often talked about our family's Native American heritage. As a kid, I never thought to ask them for documentation - what kid would? - but that doesn't change the fact that it is a part of who I am and part of my family heritage.
The people involved in recruiting and hiring me for my teaching jobs, including Charles Fried - solicitor-general under Ronald Reagan who has publicly said he voted for Scott Brown in 2010 - have said unequivocally they were not aware of my heritage and that it played no role in my hiring. Documents that reporters have examined also show I did not benefit from my heritage when applying to college or law school. As I have confirmed before, I let people know about my Native American heritage in a national directory of law school personnel. At some point after I was hired by them, I also provided that information to the University of Pennsylvania and Harvard. My Native American heritage is part of who I am, I'm proud of it and I have been open about it.
The people of Massachusetts are concerned about their jobs, the future for their kids, and the security of retirement. It's past time we moved on to the important issues facing middle class families in Massachusetts.
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