“This is your time, this is our time. Together we will build a stronger Massachusetts.”

Photo Credit: Maggie Wen/ BUNS

Live from Maura Healey’s Victory Lap

By Ramsey Khalifeh
Boston University News Service

Never in the history of Massachusetts has a woman been elected governor of the state. Nor has an openly gay person. Tonight, that is no longer true.

Maura Healey, the Democratic candidate for governor of Massachusetts, has won the race with over 60 percent of the vote, beating her Republican competitor Geoff Diehl and confirming lead-up polls that gave her consistent 20-plus-point leads.

To a roaring crowd of over a thousand people at her post-election party at the Fairmont Copley Plaza, Healey exclaimed the success of her campaign and spoke on the promises she vows to keep as the new governor.

“I’m here because of the people across this state who talked to me about their lives,” Healey said in her speech. “Their stories have driven everything that I’ve done.”

Healey recognized all the historic accomplishments she, alongside Kim Driscoll, have accomplished. They are the first all-women ticket for any government position in the history of the country.

“To every little girl, and every young LGBTQ+ person, I hope tonight shows you that you can be whatever, whoever you want to be,” Healy exclaimed. “We made history.”

Healey’s historic victory as the first elected woman and gay governor comes after another Massachusetts election milestone just a year ago, when Michelle Wu became the first woman mayor of the city of Boston. 

Tuesday night’s election was predicted to yield a lower voter turnout of approximately 2.2 million people, in comparison to a higher 2.7 million back in the 2018 governor election, according to William Galvin, the Massachusetts Secretary of State. 

Healey’s campaign focused on many pressing issues, many that mimicked national debates, in regards to criminal justice reform, the climate, economic development, education and more. 

Healey’s background is centered around New England life. Although born in New Hampshire, Healey came from a family with history in Massachusetts, with ties from the North Shore and Newburyport. In 1992, Healey graduated from Harvard College and later attended and obtained a law degree from Northeastern University’s School of Law. More interestingly, Healey played professional basketball in Europe between her undergraduate and graduate degree.

In 2015, Healey was sworn in as the Massachusetts attorney general. With her background as a civil rights attorney, she helped defend the Massachusetts buffer zone law that protected patients being harassed outside of reproductive centers across the state. She also led the challenge against the federal Defense of Marriage Act and argued the case in federal court.

This year’s gubernatorial race featured two other candidates: Geoff Diehl, the republican candidate, and Kevin Reed, the libertarian candidate. Diehl served as state representative in Massachusetts between 2011 and 2018. In October of 2021, Diehl was endorsed by Donald Trump, who called Diehl a “true patriot ” in an official email. 

In October, Healey and Diehl faced off in their final gubernatorial debate with much fanfare and argument. Diehl, who had been consistently behind on polls in the state, attacked Healey repeatedly for her record on energy. Other highlights included Healey’s goals to cut taxes in the state and upcoming energy bill hikes in anticipation of this winter season.

Yet, it’s a new day in Bay State politics and voters decided that Healey would end up on top.

Now, questions loom for Massachusetts’ voters who feel that the country is in a difficult position. According to Suffolk University’s latest polls released in October leading up to the election, 57 percent of those polled in Massachusetts believed that the country is headed in the wrong direction. 44 percent of the same group think that the economy is currently in a recession. 

With the economy being the main concern for voters, Healey now has to navigate in a new direction to appease residents, especially with issues of inflation and rising costs of living being at the forefront of her new administration.

Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley speaks at Healey’s election party. Photo by Maggie Wen for BUNS.

A golden wrapped, European classical grand ballroom hosted that star-studded cast of Massachusetts politicians. In attendance at her post-election campaign party were Andrea Campbell, Senator Elizabeth Warren, Senator Ed Markey, Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley, Mayor Michelle Wu, and other Democratic party members. 

“The people of Massachusetts have given us a historic opportunity and a mandate to act, ” Healey said. “This is your time, this is our time. Together we will build a stronger Massachusetts.”

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