Maura Healey’s historic win sets a possible national stage – Boston Herald
Yes, Maura Healey made history and will become Massachusetts’ first elected female governor.
The two-term Democrat attorney general not only broke through that glass ceiling, but she also shattered it by becoming the first openly gay governor elected in the state and, along with Tina Kotek in Oregon, the country.
For that Healey deserves all the credit in the world.
But she won’t be the last female governor, not by a long shot. Five of the state’s six constitutional offices will be held by women come January, leaving veteran Secretary of State Bill Galvin as the lone man around. The “old boy network” has been replaced by the “old girl network.”
You can bet several of them will one day be running to be the second elected female governor.
These female potential governors in waiting include Lt. Gov.-elect Kim Driscoll, mayor of Salem, Attorney General-elect Andrea Campbell, a failed Boston mayoral candidate; and state Auditor-elect Diana DiZoglio, a state senator.
Of the three, Campbell and DiZoglio have the most potential to make news, given their independently elected jobs they won and the investigative and auditing tools at their disposal, while Driscoll will be tied to Healey and her policies
Although not part of the State House contingent, there is also Boston Mayor Michelle Wu waiting in the wings.
No sooner will Healey be sworn in as governor in January, than she will be asked if she intends to serve out her four- year term.
The question arises because Healey, 50, a thoroughly woke progressive, and a lesbian to boot, is now a national figure.
And as such, she will be mentioned and possibly courted as a possible vice-presidential candidate should wobbly President Joe Biden not seek reelection in 2024.
What woke male Democrat running for president would not want an openly gay female progressive governor as a running mate?
By 2024 Healey will have come off two presumably successful years as governor working with a Democrat and progressive controlled Legislature and covered by an obsequious and politically correct media writing how wonderful she is.
Adding to her Democrat national credentials is the fact that, as attorney general, Healey sued then-President Donald Trump 100 times. Most of the suits went nowhere, but Democrats and the media took notice. Now Trump continues to hint he’ll be running again.
And, if popular Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis challenges Trump by announcing his candidacy for president, Healey can also brag that she sued him too, this time over Florida’s misnamed ”Don’t Say Gay” school law.
It would be a mistake to underestimate Healey’ potential on the national scene given the dearth of interesting potential Democrat candidates for national office.
Healey could also use the governor’s office as a springboard to the U.S. Senate if Sen. Elizabeth Warren,73, whose current term expires in 2024, runs for president. Unlike her last campaign for president, Warren this time would have to give up her seat to make the run.
Or she could seek to succeed Sen. Eddie Markey, 76, who has been in Congress for 46 years, should he retire. Markey will be 80 years old if he runs for re-election in 2026 when his current term expires
Healey, a former basketball player, is a competitor — as she showed when she came from nowhere to be elected attorney general eight years ago.
And upon her election as governor, Healey not only became the first woman elected, but she also became the first attorney general, or former attorney general, from either party to get elected governor in 75 years.
She broke the “Jinx of the Job.”
Prior to Healey’s election, eight attorneys general or former attorneys general—seven Democrats and one Republican—ran for governor and all lost.
The most recent four were Frank Bellotti in 1990, Scott Harshbarger in 1998, Tom Reilly in 2006 and Martha Coakley in 2014, all Democrats.
Coakley, who would have been the first woman elected governor, was beaten by Republican Gov. Charlie Baker.
Now Healey, a one- time assistant attorney general under Coakley, takes over from Baker. Hail and farewell.
Peter Lucas is a veteran Massachusetts political reporter and columnist.