‘That’s not what Massachusetts is all about:’ With governor’s race set, Maura Healey fires shots at Trump-backed Geoff Diehl

"I don't know about you, but I am tired of the anger, the vitriol, the division. That's not who we are."

Maura Healey, Attorney General of Massachusetts and Democratic candidate for governor, and Andrea Campbell, Healy’s endorsed candidate for Attorney General, speak to members of the press outside a polling location in Lower Mills Library in Mattapan on Tuesday. Sophie Park/The New York Times
Primary Election Updates

Maura Healey drew a stark line between her and her Republican opponent soon after clinching the Democratic nomination for governor on Tuesday night, vowing that her competitor this November will “bring Trumpism to Massachusetts.”

Healey advanced to the general election for governor with the Democratic nomination after clearing the primary election unopposed, teeing up a race against the Donald Trump-endorsed Republican Geoff Diehl, a former state representative from Whitman.

Though it was not clear who Healey would face this fall when she took the stage to address her supporters just after 9 p.m., she did make clear her striking political differences with the two candidates in the Republican gubernatorial primary, Diehl and businessman Chris Doughty.


“We don’t know yet who the Republican candidate will be, but we already know a lot about him, whether it’s Geoff Diehl or Chris Doughty,” Healey told supporters. “We know he’ll put politics over progress. We know that he’ll be someone who’s out of touch with the values we stand for.

“They’ll bring Trumpism to Massachusetts — and they both already said they’ll support Donald Trump in 2024,” she added. “I don’t know about you, but I am tired of the anger, the vitriol, the division. That’s not who we are. That’s not what Massachusetts is all about.”

As the state’s top prosecutor, Healey, elected attorney general in 2014, has built a progressive reputation for going to bat against a wide array of industries and institutions, from opioid manufacturers to e-cigarette giant, Juul.

Healey has also been a sharp critic of Trump. Under her tenure, the state Attorney General’s Office sued the Trump Administration nearly 100 times.

That record could play well for Healey in the general election.

Polls before Tuesday’s election showed Healey as the most popular candidate in the field, among both Democratic and Republican candidates.

A Suffolk University/Boston Globe survey in July showed Healey with a hearty advantage in a hypothetical match-up against Diehl.


Speaking on WBZ’s “NightSide with Dan Rea” shortly after polls closed on Tuesday night, Healey said she “absolutely” feels confident about her odds in November.

“The fact of that matter is that whoever emerges tonight is really representative I think of a direction not a lot of people are looking to go in our state,” Healey told host Dan Rea. “You know, reproductive freedom and access to safe and legal abortion is something that a lot of people, men and women, are galvanized about right now and neither of my opponents support that.”

Diehl, who is pro-life, has raised specific issues with parts of the law surrounding late-term abortions but has also acknowledged his ability to change the law is hindered by a Democratic super-majority in the Legislature.

“Until we have a Legislature that feels that they want to protect life, or that the Roe Act is wrong, abortion will be protected in Massachusetts,” Diehl told Boston.com in August.

Diehl, when asked last month how he would appeal to voters in deep-blue Massachusetts, pointed to the fact that Healey would likely have to reckon with the state of the economy under her fellow Democrat, President Joe Biden.

“I’m going to be challenged with things I think that are happening with our current administration that aren’t helping economically the people of Massachusetts. So, it’ll be a mixed bag,” Diehl said. “Federally, the choices that we made, Maura Healey, I think she’ll have to defend a lot of the polices that [Biden] has done that really have set us back a bit economically for our country and state.”


In his victory speech Tuesday, Diehl said Healey would “put big government before individual freedom” and asserted costs would increase under her administration.

“Maura Healey as governor would lead our state in the wrong direction — down a path of higher taxes and radical legislation…,” Diehl said. “Under her leadership, Massachusetts would be more expensive, more excessive, and more restrictive.”

While voters will have the fall to look for more specifics on how Diehl and Healey may go about their plans for the state economy differently, Healey seemed better positioned to spread her message as of Tuesday night.

Healey, 51, faced no match in getting her party’s support after Boston state Sen. Sonia Chang-Díaz ended her campaign in June.

A third candidate, Harvard professor Danielle Allen, suspended her campaign in February.

With little resistance in the primary, Healey has saved up a war chest that boasted $4.7 million at the end of August, filings show. Diehl, meanwhile, had $16,696.

“We have work to do but the choice in this election could not be more clear. It’s a choice between partisanship and progress, between dividing people and delivering for people,” Healey said Tuesday.

“Our campaign is about making the state more affordable, growing the economy, growing opportunity for all, and protecting reproductive freedom. That’s what we stand for.”


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