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The Democrats

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Occupation: Attorney

Date of birth: May 3, 1923

Personal background: Bellotti was born in Boston. He graduated from Tufts University in 1947 and Boston College Law School in 1952. Bellotti served in the U.S. Navy during World War II. He began practicing law in 1952. He lives in Quincy with his wife, Maggie. They have 12 children.

Work and political experience: Bellotti won his first bid for public office in 1962, when he was elected lieutenant governor. Two years later, he challenged the incumbent Democratic Gov. Endicott Peabody, defeating him in the 1964 primary but losing the general election to Republican John Volpe. He lost a race for attorney general in 1966 and another bid for governor in 1970. He won the 1975 attorney general's race and served in that office until 1987. He now works as a partner with the Boston law firm of Gaston & Snow. He is the Democratic party's endorsed candidate for governor.

Major political positions: In a year when voters are angry about the state's fiscal problems, Bellotti has been fighting his image as a Beacon Hill "insider." That image stems in part from his long history in state politics, although he has been out of office for four years. Bellotti is pro-choice and supports the death penalty. He has called for restructuring state government to deal with fiscal problems. Steps would include moving more health care into the home, and regionalizing some state transportation services to eliminate overlapping. He opposes the Citizens for Limited Taxation ballot question that would roll taxes and some fees back to their mid-1988 levels.

Occupation: On leave as president of Boston University

Date of birth: August 15, 1926

Personal background: Silber was born in San Antonio, Texas. His father was a German immigrant, and his mother was a school-teacher. He graduated from Trinity University, and earned his masters and his doctorate degrees in philosophy from Yale University. He was a Fulbright Fellow in 1959 and and a Guggenheim Fellow in 1963. He and his wife Kathryn have seven children. They live in Brookline.

Work and political experience: Silber taught philosophy at the University of Texas at Austin, where he was appointed dean of the college of arts and sciences. He was appointed president of Boston University in 1970, and has been on leave from the post during the campaign. Silber has never sought political office before.

Major political positions: Silber opposes the Citizens for Limited Taxation tax repeal initiative, and has said he would campaign hard against the measure in the general election campaign. He says he personally considers abortion homicide, but stresses he would not limit abortion rights. To bring down the cost of health care, Silber has said he supports living wills, which would allow health professionals to cease heroic measures to keep people alive if they indicated they would not want such procedures. Silber says this is one way to keep down the cost of health care. He opposes the death penalty.

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