First Female Massachusetts Governor Maura Healey Defeats Geoff Diehl

First Female Massachusetts Governor Maura Healey: The Democratic attorney general is also making history by becoming one of the first openly lesbian governors in the United States. Massachusetts Governor-elect Maura Healey makes her way to the podium at a Democratic election night reception on November 8, 2022, in Boston.

Maura Healey, Massachusetts’ First Female Governor, Defeated His Republican Challenger, Geoff Diehl

Maura Healey will be the first openly lesbian governor of Massachusetts. Healey, 51, the state’s Democratic attorney general and a South End native, defeated Republican Geoff Diehl, a Whitman former state lawmaker favored by Donald Trump, and Danvers former legislator Leah Allen on Tuesday.

Healey promised to be “a governor for everyone” at a victory party at the Fairmont Copley Plaza hotel in Boston. “I’ll work with anyone who wants to change this state,” she stated. I sympathize with you. Since we’re all in this together, I’ll do whatever I can to aid you.” Healey won after voting closed at 8 p.m.

Diehl’s campaign first resisted conceding. Around 9 p.m., Campaign Manager Amanda Orlando warned Boston supporters that the AP’s projections were “irresponsible” and “very early.” Orlando said the campaign wanted more returns before making any pronouncements. Diehl conceded before 11 p.m., saying fans he was “impossible to close” behind Healey.

Diehl congratulated Healey via phone. Diehl stated, “Commonwealth citizens have spoken.” “I accept their choice, and I ask everyone who supports me and Leah to give [Healey] the same opportunity for success that I would have asked if it were the other way.”

Healey and Diehl campaigned to lower Bay State housing and living costs.

Each took different routes. Healey proposed a fossil fuel-free future for the state, proposing a robust climate agenda. Diehl often said Healey’s plan would bankrupt the state. Diehl stressed individual freedom. He proposed requiring informed consent for “difficult curriculum subjects” and scaling back state employee COVID-19 rules.

Healey warned that a Diehl win would allow “Trumpism” in Massachusetts, a political ideology she thinks is incompatible with local voter values. Healey pledged to make Massachusetts more affordable “from day one” on Tuesday night.

“I’ll be a governor for everyone battling with increasing costs,” she declared. “We’ll make Massachusetts more competitive and cheap to attract, retain, and grow businesses. We’ll lower taxes, repair infrastructure, and fund education and job training. We’ll fight the climate catastrophe and create wonderful clean energy jobs.”

First Female Massachusetts Governor Maura Healey
Healey vigorously defended abortion access. “As long as I’m governor, women will always have the freedom to control their bodies,” she stated. Healey’s win was expected because she entered the contest early this year and led polls until Election Day.

Healey’s win means Democrats, who control both chambers of the state Legislature, will retake Beacon Hill’s corner office after popular moderate Republican Gov. Charlie Baker concludes his second, four-year term in January. One-party leadership after years of balance between Baker’s office and the two chambers is unclear.

Healey, who has claimed a tight bipartisan working relationship with Baker, has regularly hailed the now-lame-duck governor and his administration’s initiatives on several topics as ones she would replicate or continue.

Healey also reminds voters of Baker. Healey is more like Baker than Diehl, according to a UMass Amherst/WCVB survey last month. Healey will be the first elected female governor of Massachusetts when she starts office in January.

After Gov. Paul Cellucci resigned to become U.S. ambassador to Canada, Republican Jane Swift became the state’s first female governor from 2001 to 2003. Healey’s governorship will likewise be historic. After winning, she will become one of the first openly lesbian governors in the US. Healey, with Driscoll, noted that the win was a first for an all-female executive ticket in the US.

On Tuesday, former Oregon House Speaker Tina Kotek, a lesbian Democrat, ran for governor in her home state, facing a tougher campaign than her Massachusetts counterpart.

Healey addressed “every little girl and every young LGBTQ person out there” Tuesday night.

“I hope tonight tells you that you can be whatever, anyone, you want,” she declared to cheers. “And…nothing and no one can ever get in your way but your imagination—and that’s never going to happen.”

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