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Francis X. Bellotti, the leading Democratic candidate for governor, made a baby-kissing stop in Harvard Square yesterday afternoon as part of a busy weekend of last-second campaigning.
Even with polls giving him a comfortable 11-point lead over opponent John R. Silber heading into tomorrow's primary, Bellotti warned his supporters that the race is not over.
"There is such turbulence at this stage," said Bellotti. "You don't really know where you stand, overall rules don't apply."
Cambridge Mayor Alice K. Wolf was on hand to welcome the former attorney general and emphasize her recent endorsement of his candidacy.
After vigorously shaking hands with the mayor, Bellotti said that her support was evidence of "liberal" and "progressive" politicians coming together.
Also present in support of Bellotti was James M. Harmon 93, president of the Harvard-Radcliffe Democratic Club.
After having his picture taken with the candidate and the mayor, Harmon said that Bellotti was the best person to restore confidence in state government.
While campaign organizers passed out signs to supporters, the candidate glided through the crowd, shaking hands and tugging the arms of interested passersby.
When he was approached by a woman demanding to know his position on gay rights, Bellotti was quick to respond with a smile and point to his liberal record.
"I wrote the bill," Bellotti said, raising his voice. "I helped put together the civil rights bill."
But another questioner did not receive the answer he wanted to hear. Tom Reeves, a professor of political science at Roxbury Community College, walked away shaking his head after arguing with Bellotti over the candidate's support for the death penalty.
"On many issues, he's the best compared to some frightening alternatives," Reeves said. "But the death penalty is so important, and I certainly wasn't going to change his mind."
In an interview, Bellotti complained about the media coverage of the campaign, criticizing reporters for not letting substance become a part of the race.
"To me it's very frustrating," he said. "Silber says something crazy and then I say something back and that gets the coverage, not the substance."
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