The race for state attorney general (so far)

Andrea Campbell (Photo by Wikimedia Commons)

By Grace Knoop
Boston University News Service

With current Attorney General Maura Healey ramping up her campaign for the governor’s office, the race to fill the attorney general’s shoes has been slowly gaining steam, as candidates hone their messaging ahead of the 2022 election.

The first to join the race was Shannon Liss-Riordan, who announced her bid in late January. Liss-Riordan is a plaintiff-side employment attorney who is most known for her work in cases against big corporations including Uber, Lyft, and Postmates. 

“From corporate-bad actors taking advantage of workers and consumers in our rapidly evolving economy to systemic racism, threats to reproductive freedom, the childcare crisis, and climate change, hardworking families are struggling just to keep up,” Liss-Riordan states on her campaign website. “They need someone to have their back, and that’s exactly what I’ll do as your next Massachusetts Attorney General.” 

Along with Liss-Riordan, former Boston City Councilor Andrea Campbell, who first announced her candidacy earlier in February, joined the race after a recent run for mayor of Boston. If elected, Campbell would become the first woman of color to hold the position. With her background as City Council president, Campbell said she is looking to provide equal opportunities and justice for the Massachusetts people in the attorney general role.  

“I’ve dedicated my life to fighting for greater equity and opportunity. And that’s what I’ll do as Attorney General,” she states on her campaign website

Some Boston University students are following the ongoing announcements of candidates, including Hessann Farooqi, BU student government vice president. 

“It would be a fantastic milestone if Campbell were elected as the first woman of color to hold that position,” said Farooqi. “Representation really matters. And particularly in an office, like the attorney general’s office, which deals directly with the criminal justice system.” 

The third candidate to enter the race was Quentin Palfrey, who joined a few days after Campbell. As the former assistant attorney general, Palfrey’s resume includes experience working in the White House, assisting the Obama administration in the Office of Science and Technology Policy and President Joe Biden in the Department of Commerce. 

“Now I’m running for Attorney General to stand up for the working people of Massachusetts, protecting the rights of consumers against predatory lenders and scammers, standing with workers against wage theft and bringing urgency to the fight against climate change,” he states on his campaign website

Early polling by the MassINC Polling Group, conducted before Campbell and Palfrey entered the race, found 31% of respondents would vote for Campbell in an attorney general race, with Liss-Riordan collecting 3% and Palfrey earning 2%. 

As all three candidates build their platforms and attract voters, Farooqi said he is keeping his eyes and ears open, looking forward to hearing about their policies, especially candidates Liss-Riordan and Campbell, with whom he is already familiar. 

“I think both Liss-Riordan and Campbell have good records as far as advocating for consumers particularly and then advocating to protect civil rights, things that I would think are important in the future attorney general,” said Farooqi.

As the candidates begin campaigning, Attorney General Healey has a campaign trail of her own as she attempts to become the first attorney general to be elected governor since 1966, when Edward Brooke was elected into the position. 

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