Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey jumps into gubernatorial race

Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey (D) on Thursday entered the state’s gubernatorial race, handing Democrats a top-tier contender as they try to retake the top job in Boston.

Healey, a progressive, touted in her launch ad several of her fights against predatory lenders, oil companies and pharmaceutical companies and vowed to try to improve the commonwealth’s economy.

“My team protected students and homeowners from predatory lenders, took on ExxonMobil for lying about climate change and Purdue Pharma and the Sacklers for fueling the opioid epidemic,” she said. “I’ve stood with you as the people’s lawyer, and now I’m running to be your governor to bring us together and come back stronger than ever.”

“We’ll continue with what’s working and fix what’s not,” she added. “We’ll get our economy back on track and bring job training to every part of our state so that everyone can share in our growth.”

Healey, who has served as attorney general for two terms, likely enters the race with high name recognition after being elected statewide and waging high-profile lawsuits against the Trump administration and Purdue Pharma, the manufacturers of the opioid OxyContin. 

Her campaign marks a victory for Democrats, who had sought to recruit her to enter the race to replace retiring Gov. Charlie Baker (R). Baker’s deputy, Lt. Gov. Karyon Polito (R), has already declined to run for his seat.

Healey also enters the race on strong financial footing, with $3.67 million in the bank at the start of the month. Shortly after her announcement, she also won the endorsement of the Teamsters Local 25 union. Her strong positioning could also convince Labor Secretary and former Boston Mayor Marty Walsh to avoid jumping into the race. 

The Massachusetts governor’s race marks a top pick-up opportunity for Democrats who are champing at the bit in the deep blue state. However, Republicans have held onto the governor’s mansion 23 of the last 31 years.

Healey will have to beat state Sen. Sonia Chang-Díaz and nonprofit leader Danielle Allen in a Democratic primary, though the two lack the funds and statewide network the attorney general has cobbled together over her two terms. 

Geoff Diehl, a former state representative and the GOP’s Senate nominee in 2018, is running for the Republicans. He has the backing of former President Trump, though it remains unclear how competitive his brand of conservatism would be in a state like Massachusetts.