Politics

Healey offers Chang-Diaz 2 debates in Democratic primary for governor

Healey's offer is far more limited than what Chang-Diaz asked for.

John Tlumacki/Globe Staff
State Senator Sonia Chang-Díaz and Attorney General Maura Healey attended a Democratic caucus this month. John Tlumacki/Globe Staff

Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey has counteroffered State Sen. Sonia Chang-Diaz’s three-debate challenge in the Democratic primary for governor, and it’s far different than what Chang-Diaz asked for.

On March 24, WBUR reported, Chang-Diaz challenged Healey to three live, televised debates before the Democratic Party convention in June when the party will gather in Worcester to decide on a possible endorsement as well as who will be on the ballot in September.

Such appearances would help the state senator counter Healey’s name recognition advantage, which has helped propel her to her spot as the frontrunner in this primary.

But on Thursday, WBUR reported, Healey made a counteroffer of just two live, televised debates, which would take place after the convention, but before the primary in September.

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WBUR reported that earlier this week, Chang-Diaz accused Healey of avoiding voters and her challengers by not agreeing to meet before the convention.

“Democrats deserve to hear publicly from their candidates for governor on the important issues facing us,” Chang-Díaz wrote in her March 24 letter to Healey.

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“This moment calls for leadership that is willing to answer the tough questions and provide fearless commitment to the residents we serve.”

But the stakes are higher for Chang-Diaz, who WBUR reports has lagged behind Healey in fundraising and in the polls, as she must secure at least 15 percent of Democratic delegates to get on the ballot in September.

Healey campaign manager Jason Burrell told WBUR that Healey has participated in more than 70 public caucuses since launching her campaign in January, as well as several forums.

In addition to upcoming debates, Healey told WBUR she would take part in two more candidate forums before the June 4 convention.

The first forum has been scheduled for the evening of April 19, which will be moderated by GBH’s Callie Crossley. The second forum will be hosted by WBUR and the Environmental League of Massachusetts at 6 p.m. on April 27.

Neither Chang-Diaz’s or Healey’s campaigns were immediately available for comment.

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