Massachusetts Democrats gather for state convention


WORCESTER, Mass. (AP) – Massachusetts Democrats rallied in Worcester on Saturday for their convention to win back the governorship and retain control of virtually every other source of political power in the state.

Attorney General Maura Healey and Senator Sonia Chang-Díaz both hope to win the top job in November, but they must first face off in the fall primary. Healey won the party’s approval with 71% of the delegate vote on Saturday, while Chang-Díaz won 29%, enough to get her name in the September primary.

“I am so humbled and I promise you this: I will be a governor who sees everyone, listens to everyone and makes sure every voice is heard in this Commonwealth,” Healey said of accepting the endorsement.

Governor Charlie Baker, who has remained popular with voters throughout his two terms, has decided not to seek a third four-year term. Baker and Lt. gov. Karyn Polito are the only statewide Republican officers in Massachusetts.

Healey and Chang-Díaz are both popular with partisans, although Healey has the advantage of running nationally twice and winning both times. Healey also has a financial advantage. As of early May, Healey had more than $4.9 million in cash in her campaign account, compared to just $353,000 for Chang-Díaz.

Both candidates would make history if they won in November. Despite its liberal reputation, Massachusetts has never elected a woman governor. Healey would also become the state’s first openly gay candidate for governor-elect and the first openly lesbian chief executive of any state in the country, while Chang-Díaz would become the first Latina and Asian American to hold the office.

Whoever wins in September goes up against the winner of the Republican primary. This race pits former GOP State Representative Geoff Diehl, who has the backing of former President Donald Trump, against Wrentham business owner Chris Doughty.

A number of candidates are traveling to the Sept. 6 primary after garnering enough support on Saturday to get their names on the ballot.

Tanisha Sullivan, an attorney and president of the Boston branch of the NAACP, won the party’s nomination for Secretary of the Commonwealth, with the support of 62% of delegates. She will challenge incumbent William Galvin, who is seeking an eighth four-year term and won 48% of the vote at the convention.

There are three Democratic candidates hoping to replace Healey as attorney general: Quentin Palfrey, a former assistant attorney general and 2018 nominee for lieutenant governor; Employment Attorney Shannon Liss-Riordan; and former Boston City Councilwoman Andrea Campbell, who recently ran unsuccessfully for mayor. All three won enough votes to make the first ballot.

Two Democrats — traffic attorney Chris Dempsey and Methuen state senator Diana DiZoglio — are vying for a chance to succeed state examiner Suzanne Bump, who has opted out of re-election. Both will be on the ballot, with Dempsey edging out DiZoglio for party support.

Three Democrats qualified for the lieutenant governor’s nomination: Salem Mayor Kim Driscoll, Acton State Assemblyman Tami Gouveia, and Longmeadow State Senator Eric Lesser. Two others failed to garner enough support to vote, including Pittsfield Senator Adam Hinds and Boston businessman Bret Bero.

Whoever wins this race will team up with the winner of the Democratic primary for governor to run as a team in November.

Democratic State Treasurer Deborah Goldberg has no Democratic challengers as she seeks a third four-year term.

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