WORCESTER, Mass. (AP) – Massachusetts Democrats are gathering in Worcester for their convention on Saturday to find a way to win back the governorship while maintaining control of virtually every other source of political power in the state.
Attorney General Maura Healey and Senator Sonia Chang-Diaz both hope to win the top office in November but must first compete in the primary. To win a seat in September’s election, everyone must have the support of at least 15% of party delegates.
Governor Charlie Baker, who has remained popular with voters throughout his two terms in office, 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-Diaz are both popular with partisans, although Healey has the advantage of running statewide 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-Diaz.
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 nation’s first openly lesbian chief executive of a state, while Chang-Diaz 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.
There are a number of other nationwide races with several Democratic candidates hoping to get their names in the September 6 primary.
Massachusetts Commonwealth Secretary William Galvin, who is seeking an eighth four-year term, is being challenged by Tanisha Sullivan, an attorney and president of the NAACP’s Boston branch.
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; Labor Attorney Shannon Liss-Riordan; and former Boston City Councilwoman Andrea Campbell, who recently ran unsuccessfully for mayor.
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.
At least five Democrats are running for lieutenant governor, including Salem Mayor Kim Driscoll, Acton Assemblyman Tami Gouveia, Longmeadow Senator Eric Lesser, Pittsfield Senator Adam Hinds and Boston businessman Bret Bero.
Whoever wins 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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