Standing in Maverick Square in neighboring East Boston last Thursday Attorney General Maura Healey officially announced her candidacy for Governor of Massachusetts.
Healey has long been touted as the successor to Gov. Charlie Baker’s governorship and emerged as a frontrunner for the corner office well before Baker announced he would not seek a third term. Healey’s political rise began during her upset victory for Attorney General over Warren Tollman who had former Gov. Deval Patrick and former Boston Mayor Martin Walsh in his corner.
With over $3.5 million in her campaign war chest, Healey is poised to become the first Massachusetts Attorney General to be elected governor since James Sullivan pulled off the feat in 1807 –although many have tried with the last being Martha Coakley’s bid against Baker.
“I think about where we are right now as a state,” said Healey during her press conference in East Boston. “We have been through a lot or people have been through a lot. Our businesses have been through a lot. Our children have been through a lot, a lot of anxiety, a lot of despair, some incredible hardship. But I have seen over the last two years such incredible acts of resilience, of caring, of compassion. I have long believed, because I’ve had the privilege of serving as your attorney general for the last seven years, that the state and its people have endless capacity to do great things. We’re at a hard time now. But we’re going to get through it and we’re going to go on and we’re going to build forward in ways that we can’t even imagine right now. That’s what excites me. I want to bring to this as your next governor a lot of things to focus on, a lot of things that need attention, especially getting the economy back on track and making sure that it works for everyone across the state. But I’m just really excited to be here and to be out in a community like East Boston. It’s about meeting the people where they are. I’ve always been driven by the people and engagement with people.”
Healey said job one for her administration would be a focus on economic growth and job creation.
“So many people are experiencing high cost of living, whether it’s in health care, housing, even transit, gasoline, you name it right now, and that’s something that we’ve got to deal with as a state,” she said. “I recognize there’s monetary policy that the federal government is going to control but there are actually levers and things that we can do as a state to better address that situation. But job one will be making sure this economy is back on track that gets to issues of workforce development and job training. It gets to issues of child care, which is fundamental, especially to getting women back to the workforce. So there’s a lot of opportunity and a lot of work ahead to continue what’s working and address what’s not working. The general governing philosophy is if something’s working, then let’s keep with it and if it’s not working let’s figure out what we need to do.’
Healey continued, “That’s certainly what I’ve tried to do in my time holding this office as Attorney General. I think fundamentally the best thing that Massachusetts has going for it are its people and I see so much possibility and capacity there. I think that we’ve got great people. I think we’ve got great institutions. We’ve got some really terrific “know how” across the state. If you look at some of what’s happened just in the last few years in nearby Kendall Square or over in the Seaport, the amount of money that’s come into the state in terms of investment. I understand that people wonder if we’re ever going to get through this and out of this and I’m just here to say we are and we will and we will move forward in ways that are bigger and better than ever imagined.”
In the end Healey said she believes her record will speak for itself when it comes time for voters to pick a new governor.
“I think if you look at my record it speaks for itself in terms of where I am on fighting systemic racism and inequality, fighting for access to affordable health care, recognizing that across every sector, whether it’s climate, transportation, the environment, criminal justice,” she said. “We can and should apply an equity lens to everything that we do and bring an intentionality and an energy so that we are in fact improving the lives and well being and stakes of everybody here in the state, regardless of zip code, race, ethnicity, and the like. There are so many things happening right now and I appreciate people’s voices. I appreciate their advocacy. I love people, and I love people’s enthusiasm and right now we’re in a time where people are demanding that what hasn’t worked in our systems be addressed. I think with COVID there was so much being dismantled, so much being disrupted and now we got an opportunity to move forward in new and different ways that are going to be better for every single person in this state.”