Nov 9, 2022 - Politics

Maura Healey makes history

Healey at the Copley Plaza hotel last night. Photo: Joseph Prezioso/AFP via Getty Images

Attorney General Maura Healey made history as the first woman elected governor of Massachusetts, and one of the country's first openly lesbian governors, after a victory over Republican Geoff Diehl last night.

Why it matters: Healey's history-making run and wide margin of victory solidifies the Democratic Party's hold on the state government, as popular Republican Gov. Charlie Baker steps aside.

  • The Democrat won with 63.2% of the vote to Diehl's 35.2% with 82.5% of precincts reporting, per the Associated Press.

The big picture: Without the need to wrangle two-thirds of the legislature to defeat a Republican veto, Democratic leaders in the House and Senate now have a much freer hand to put progressive legislation to a vote.

  • Healey has her own agenda to increase housing, cut taxes and lower the cost of living for families in Mass. that will likely see little challenge from the center-left lawmakers who dominate the legislature.

What she's saying:

"Tonight, I want to say something to every little girl and every young LGBTQ person. I hope tonight shows you that you can be whatever you want to be. And nothing but your own imagination should ever get in the way. I want you to know that tonight, we made history."
ā€” Healey from the stage at the Copley Plaza Hotel in the Back Bay.

"In the face of so much hate and intolerance sweeping our nation, her win is a sign ā€” especially to LGBTQ kids in desperate need of hope ā€” that LGBTQ people have a place in American society and can become respected public leaders," LGBTQ Victory Fund president and former Houston Mayor Annise Parker said in a statement.

The other side: "Despite the outcome, I'm proud of the race we ran, and we highlighted issues that are important for people across the entire state," Diehl said in his concession speech, according to Boston Globe.

The intrigue: Healey shattered a glass ceiling that had been dented by previous female nominees like Martha Coakley, Kerry Healey and Shannon O'Brien.

  • Healey has also broken the curse of attorneys general failing to get elected governor. Several AGs, including Coakley and Francis Bellotti, ran and lost their races for governor.
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