AG Maura Healey to announce her candidacy for governor of Massachusetts, sources tell WBZ-TV – CBS Boston

BOSTON (CBS) — It’s time for the governorship. This is the word of several non-personal sources close to Attorney General Maura Healey. She will officially announce Thursday that she is running for governor of Massachusetts.

For Healey, 50, first elected AG in 2014, the decision ends years of speculation about her political ambitions. The conversation sped up on December 1 when Governor Charlie Baker announced he would not be seeking re-election.

WBZ-TV political analyst Jon Keller says she’s poised to become the immediate favorite, like it or not. “Nobody necessarily wants to be the favorite sooner than they have to because you’re instantly a target,” Keller said.

Healey will join a Democratic primary field that includes Danielle Allen, also 50, a Harvard political scientist who directs the Safra Center for Ethics, and State Senator Sonia Chang-Diaz, 43, who has represented Suffolk’s Second District since 2009. Former Boston Mayor Marty Walsh, now U.S. Secretary of Labor, has been considering a possible candidacy since Baker stepped down, but allies believe he’s not interested in competing with Healey for the job.

“Every indication I’ve had is that while Walsh has always been interested in being governor one day, he was a state representative for many years, he’s not interested in running against Maura Healey,” Keller said.

Former State Representative Geoff Diehl, 52, who lost the 2018 U.S. Senate race to Elizabeth Warren, is the only announced GOP nominee.

Keller doesn’t see Diehl repeating Governor Charlie Baker’s red victory in a blue state. “Particularly since the only Republican in the race so far, Geoff Diehl has tied himself to SS Donald Trump,” Keller said.

Healey enters the race with a big financial advantage over Allen and Chang-Diaz, far higher name recognition and good job approval ratings. But she can be criticized for political stances on criminal justice issues that don’t sit well with some progressives, and has been criticized in the past for allegedly failing to aggressively pursue political corruption cases.

If she wins in November, she will be the first sitting attorney general to do so, breaking a string of failures that includes bold political names such as Scott Harshbarger, Tom Reilly and Frank Bellotti.

If elected, Healey would be just the country’s third openly gay governor. “We’re the first state to legalize same-sex marriage, and nobody really talks about it anymore, so I don’t see that as a problem at all,” Keller said.

Both Democrats issued statements welcoming Healey into the race and framing their differences.

“In this time of crisis, we need a robust conversation about how our government is serving working families and addressing our greatest challenges,” said Sonia Chang-Diaz. “Maura and I have different records when it comes to priorities and governance, and I look forward to her joining the ongoing conversation we are having with Massachusetts voters.”

“I’m in this race — and I’ve been in this for a year — to make sure Massachusetts has a real choice,” Danielle Allen said. “A choice between a perspective ready to face the moment and the status quo.”

Healey’s bid for governor follows monster wins for Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley and Boston Mayor Michelle Wu, and Keller is among those who see a trend.

“Where women, people of color are mobilizing to seize political power in Massachusetts,” Keller said.

Stay with WBZ News and CBSN Boston throughout 2022 for coverage of this and other developing races as well as statewide voting matters.

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