BOSTON (State House News Service) — Attorney General Maura Healey formally entered the race for governor on Thursday, putting economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic at the forefront of a campaign that she said would be built on "teamwork."
Healey, 50, ended months of speculation with the release of a video Thursday morning announcing her candidacy for governor after two terms as attorney general. She highlighted her work taking on predatory lenders, and suing Exxon Mobil and Purdue Pharma over their roles in climate change and the opioid epidemic.
The Boston Democrat said as governor she would work to "get our economy back on track," expand job training opportunities, make child care more affordable and fight climate change.
"I know the years of the pandemic have been really hard, but I see a state that's coming together with courage, grit and caring to do great things," she said in the video.
Healey plans her first campaign event in Boston on Thursday morning.
With Gov. Charlie Baker opting against seeking a third term, Democrats have grown increasingly optimistic about their chances in November. Two Democrats - Sen. Sonia Chang-Diaz and Harvard professor Danielle Allen - are already in the race, but many in the party have been waiting anxiously to see what Healey would do.
After word spread Wednesday night about Healey's plans, Allen issued a statement saying she was in the race "to make sure Massachusetts has a real choice."
“This election is about the urgent challenges we’re facing — from the pandemic, to the climate crisis, to racial injustice, to the strains on our democracy," Allen said. "Every single day, in every community in Massachusetts, people are struggling with the impacts of these challenges. So status quo is not an option. We need a fresh perspective that can see beyond the politics and start bringing us together to build solutions."
After rocketing to prominence in her first campaign for public office in 2014, Healey is sitting on nearly $3.7 million in campaign cash and would be the first woman and first openly gay person elected governor in Massachusetts history.
Healey grew up in New Hampshire, and she said she was one of five kids raised by a single mom who taught her the importance of community.
"Teamwork got us through. I believe in teamwork. I've seen it on the court, and in the court as your attorney general," said the former captain of the Harvard basketball team, who went on to play professionally in Europe.
With Healey in the race for governor, the attorney general's office is now up for grabs. Labor lawyer Shannon Liss-Riordan and Quentin Palfrey, the 2018 Democratic nominee for lieutenant governor, have both said they would run if Healey gave up the seat.
Written by Matt Murphy/SHNS