BOSTON (AP) - Decision time is fast approaching for several would-be candidates in Massachusetts' 2014 governor's race.
On the Republican side, former Harvard Pilgrim Health Care chief executive Charles Baker has suggested he'll make an announcement around Labor Day weekend.
Democrats are awaiting the decisions of several possible candidates, including Attorney General Martha Coakley, U.S. Rep. Michael Capuano and Somerville Mayor Joseph Curtatone.
Coakley is expected to announce a decision sometime in September. Capuano said this week that he'll have an announcement soon.
The field is wide open. Gov. Deval Patrick, a Democrat, has said he's not running for a third term. Former Lt. Gov. Timothy Murray is also out of the running.
Several Democratic hopefuls have already jumped into the race, including state Treasurer Steven Grossman, former Obama administration health care official Don Berwick, former federal and state homeland security official Juliette Kayyem and former Wellesley selectman Joseph Avellone.
The candidacy of another Democratic gubernatorial hopeful, state Sen. Dan Wolf, is in flux pending the outcome of discussions with the state Ethics Commission over his ownership stake in Cape Air.
No Republicans have announced their candidacies, raising expectations that Baker - the party's 2010 nominee for governor - will make another run for the office next year. The recent announcement by former Republican U.S. Sen. Scott Brown that he won't be a candidate has only increased anticipation among GOP activists that Baker could make his candidacy official in the next week.
Baker has done little to tamp down those expectations. During a recent interview on WGBH-FM, Baker ducked the question of a run for governor but said he'll have a decision soon, although he might "slip it till after Labor Day."
Coakley, the state's top law enforcement official, has said she's thinking about running for governor. Those close to her said she expects to announce a decision in September.
Coakley remains popular as attorney general, but she also lost a 2010 special U.S. Senate race to Brown to fill the seat left vacant by the death of longtime Democratic Sen. Edward Kennedy.
Capuano, a former mayor of Somerville, ran in the Democratic primary in the 2010 special Senate election, losing to Coakley. Capuano has been considering a run for governor and said this week that he's nearing a decision.
"You will hear soon," Capuano told reporters this week. When pressed, he added, "soon is soon."
Curtatone said last month that he's also considering a run, but is keeping an eye on which other candidates may jump into the race, including Coakley and Capuano.
"I'm going to make my decisions based on my own personal analysis, but to say you ignore the field, it would not be truthful," he said at the time.
Wolf's troubles stem from contracts Cape Air has with the Massachusetts Port Authority, which runs Logan Airport.
The commission had ruled that Wolf would have to choose between his political career and his continued ownership interest in the regional airline he helped create 25 years ago. The commission said the contracts with Massport violate the state's conflict-of-interest laws.
Another independent hopeful, Evan Falchuk, has also said he's running.