FRAMINGHAM - Democratic candidates running for all offices, from governor to selectman, came together at the Memorial Building Sunday for the Framingham Democratic Caucus.
Nevins Hall was packed with campaign volunteers, trying to get enough signatures so their candidates can get on the ballot.
“We are swarming with candidates,” said Democratic State Committee Member Norma Shulman.
Four of the five gubernatorial candidates were at the caucus and each gave a two-minute speech.
Attorney General Martha Coakley, one of the candidates, drew on her experience advocated for marriage equality while state Treasurer Steve Grossman introduced his wife, Barbara, who is very active in his campaign.
Don Berwick, a medical doctor, drew on his experience in health care.
The Democratic party in Acton, Brimfield, Cambridge, Westborough and Wrentham were all having caucuses Sunday, meaning the candidates departed directly after their speeches.
Gubernatorial candidate Juliette Kayyem, fresh off her post in the Obama administration, was off to Cambridge after speaking in Framingham.
Joseph Avellone, a surgeon, did not attend the Framingham caucus, but sent a representative to speak on his behalf.
Shulman says a lot of people came to vote in the caucus for their first time on Sunday.
Paul Rocha, 80, has lived in town since 1957 and came to vote in his first caucus. He was asked to come in support of a candidate.
Organizers said the Framingham caucus got a lot of attention compared to caucuses in other cities and towns because of its timing.
Framingham is also seen as a major campaigning opportunity because of its size and location.
“Its role is significant,” said Maura Healey, who is running for attorney general. “This is an incredibly active and engaged town.”
The Massachusetts Democratic Party required all caucuses to be held between Feb. 8 and March 2.
The caucus was open to all Framingham voters who were registered Democrats as of Jan. 31. Those who registered after the deadline or are Independents were allowed to sign nomination papers but could not vote in the caucus.
The town is able to send 35 delegates and five alternates to the Democratic convention, a high number according to Framingham Democratic Town Committee Chairman Tom Mahoney. The total includes 17 men and 17 women delegates plus Mahoney. The alternates must be also be gender balanced; the fifth candidate can be either a male or female.
“I think it's a very democratic process,” said Mahoney.
Anamika Roy can be reached at 508-626-3957 or Follow her on Twitter @anamikaroy.