To get on the ballot for the state primary in September, candidates must garner 15 percent of the votes from party delegates.
The debate covered a wide range of issues as candidates sought to distinguish themselves from the others.
Treasurer Steve Grossman touted his department’s hiring process, a reference to the recent Probation Department scandal.
Don Berwick, a medicare administrator, said his stance against casino gambling in the Commonwealth sets him apart from his opponents.
Attorney General Martha Coakley explained why her department rejected a ballot petition seeking to rescind the vote to allow gambling in the commonwealth.
Grossman, Coakley, and Berwick are joined in the race by former Boston Globe columnist Juliette Kayyem, and health care executive Joe Avellone as the candidates vying for a spot on the ballot.