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Maura Healey clinches nomination in Massachusetts as lesbian candidate for governor

Candidate set to become first out lesbian elected governor

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Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey at the 2022 Victory Fund National Champagne Brunch. (Washington Blade file photo by Michael Key)

Maura Healey, the Democratic contender to become the next governor of Massachusetts, secured on Saturday her party’s nomination for the general election in November, setting herself up to become the first out lesbian to be elected governor in the United States.

Healey, who previously made history as the first out lesbian and LGBTQ person elected as state attorney general, announced on Monday she had secured 71 percent of the vote from party delegates at the Democratic State Convention in Worcester.

In her speech accepting the nomination, Healey made lowering the high cost of living, expanding job training and making Massachusetts a global leader on clean energy central components of her campaign.

“I will be a governor who sees everyone, listens to everyone, and hears everyone,” Healey said. “A governor who fights to make sure people share in our progress and no one is left behind. A governor as tough as the state she serves…Because in Massachusetts, we don’t follow. We lead. We don’t wait. We act. And we never back down when people are counting on us.”

Local media in Massachusetts have declared Healy the victor in all but name five months ahead of the general election in November. Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker, who’s a Republican, is popular but has declined to run for re-election. Even though the GOP is expected to achieve serious wins in November, no serious Republican is in the field who could compete against Healy.

Healy could end up sharing the distinction of being one of the first out lesbians to be elected governor in the United States. Also in contention is Tina Kotek, a former speaker of the Oregon House, who’s also a lesbian and could achieve the same distinction.

The two would follow a long list of firsts made by openly gay and lesbian officials in recent years after the advancement of LGBTQ rights and visibility, such as the confirmation of Pete Buttigieg as transportation secretary.

A full 10 years ago in 2012, Tammy Baldwin became the first out lesbian elected to the Senate, and Gov. Jared Polis became the first openly gay man elected governor in 2018. Oregon already had an LGBTQ person serving as governor; the current governor, Kate Brown, is bisexual.

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