State Sen. Eric Lesser

State senator and lieutenant governor hopeful Eric P. Lesser, D-Longmeadow, speaks at a rally July 25 outside Springfield’s Union Station featuring headliner U.S. Rep. Richard E. Neal. (Stephanie Barry / The Republican)

SPRINGFIELD — Elected officials and boosters of state Sen. Eric P. Lesser gathered behind a podium outside Union Station on July 25, eager to show support for the onetime Obama White House aide’s bid for lieutenant governor.

“Everyone step two feet back please! Elected officials in front,” directed one of Lesser’s handlers, leaving a wide berth for the headliner: U.S. Rep. Richard E. Neal, chairman of the powerful House Committee on Ways & Means, Springfield’s leading native son and the heavyweight of all political backers in Western Massachusetts.

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