By Matt Murphy
Attorney General Maura Healey got her campaign for governor started Thursday morning under a light drizzle, pledging to make the economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic “job one” as she joins a race in which she is considered the instant front-runner.
“I understand people are tired right now. 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,” Healey told reporters.
The Boston Democrat ended months of speculation with the release of a video early 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.
She then traveled to the Maverick Square T station in East Boston where she greeted voters under cloudy, cold skies, introducing herself behind a black face mask. She was joined by Rep. Adrian Madaro and Senator-elect Lydia Edwards, neither of whom have formally endorsed her campaign but were there to welcome her to their home of East Boston. She went on to identify the cost of living in Massachusetts as one of the biggest issues that needs addressing, from the prices of housing, child care and and health care to gasoline. “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 a lot of opportunity and a lot of work ahead,” Healey said.
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 – have been running for months and joined the race before Baker announced he would not run.
Healey declined to say whether she would be running for governor if Baker had opted to seek another term, describing that as “so rear view right now.” “I’ll tell you I’m here today and I’m psyched about it,” Healey said. Allen responded to Healey’s news by pointing to her own work on the campaign trail and saying Massachusetts needs “a choice between a perspective ready to meet the moment and business as usual.” Chang-Diaz welcomed Healey to the race, and said “Maura and I have differing records when it comes to priorities and governing, and I look forward to her joining the ongoing conversation we’re having with voters across Massachusetts.”