Geoff Diehl, GOP gubernatorial candidate, names former state rep. as running mate

Lieutenant governor candidate Leah Cole Allen, a former state lawmaker, is a registered nurse running in opposition to COVID mandates.

Republican gubernatorial candidate Geoff Diehl, right, and Leah Allen Cole, his running mate and a lieutenant governor candidate, speak to reporters Monday outside the State House in Boston. Matt Stout/Globe Staff

Republican Geoff Diehl, a candidate for Massachusetts governor, on Monday announced his running mate: former state Rep. Leah Cole Allen, a registered nurse who says she opposes COVID-19-related mandates.

In her bid for lieutenant governor, Allen, a 33-year-old Danvers mother of two, is placing an emphasis on individual liberty, which her website says has been “eroded” during the pandemic due to public health regulations.

“Some of our freedoms have been tested and taken away by a government that is increasingly powerful. … I oppose universal mask and vaccine mandates for public and private employees,” Allen’s website states.

According to The Boston Globe, Allen is also backing debunked claims made by former President Donald Trump, and echoed by Diehl, that the 2020 presidential election was rigged due to voter fraud.


“I think there was enough evidence that there could have been an issue,” Allen told reporters, pointing to investigations of potential fraud in some states.

Diehl, last fall, cited what he referred to as audit results from three states, including Georgia and Arizona, the newspaper reports. Georgia officials found no evidence of widespread fraud after three investigations, and in Arizona, a probe found more votes for President Joe Biden.

“I think that there was enough states that felt that it was [rigged], that they were investigating it. And I would like to see the outcomes of those investigations,” Allen said on Monday.

When asked which states, Allen said she didn’t “know off-hand” and said she did not want to talk about “the national stuff,” according to the Globe.

“I really care about what’s impacting Massachusetts right now,” she said. “I think it’s important. Perhaps we can discuss it sometime. But right now I’d like to focus on the reason why I’m running.”

Allen resigned from the Legislature in 2015, after serving for over two years, to take on a career in nursing, the newspaper reports.

She said Monday she is now “facing the prospect” of losing her job at a hospital because she did not want to receive the COVID-19 vaccine while she was pregnant. She declined to name her employer.


“It makes me want to get involved again,” Allen said.

If elected, Allen would focus on “removing the mandates so people can get back to work,” she said.

In an announcement video, Allen says the pandemic prompted her to “look around and take stock.”

“Life isn’t getting any easier and the problems I fought against as a state rep. are worsening,” Allen says. “This November, I’m looking to make a difference.”

According to the Globe, Allen was a supporter of a successful 2014 ballot campaign to remove a provision that required the Massachusetts gas tax be tied to inflation.

A statement by Allen released by the Diehl campaign on Monday also accused “state leaders” of attempting to raise taxes while inflation balloons.

Speaking to reporters, Allen didn’t point to any specific proposals, but said she is concerned about “any kind of taxes and fees that they are looking at increasing,” the newspaper reports.

State lawmakers have yet to release their budget proposals for the coming fiscal year, but officials have already suggested saving taxpayers’ money.

Gov. Charlie Baker has offered up $700 million in tax breaks, and House leaders have indicated they are considering their own version of a tax break proposal, the Globe reports.


With Allen in the gubernatorial race, she and Diehl will take on Chris Doughty, a Wrentham businessman, and his running mate, Kate Campanale, a former state representative who now works as a history teacher.

However, candidates for governor and lieutenant governor will face separate primary elections in September.


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