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New Blood Entering Massachusetts Constitutional Offices

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Voters in the blue state of Massachusetts picked Republican Charlie Baker to succeed outgoing Democratic Governor Deval Patrick in November, ushering in Karyn Polito as lieutenant governor as well. But those were the only wins the GOP was able to muster in statewide races. While the Democrats hold the other offices, some new faces have been added to the mix. “Look at Maura Healey!”

Although those words came during a concession speech after her bid for governor, Attorney General Martha Coakley found a bright spot in the ballot results as her successor stood over her shoulder. Assistant Attorney General Maura Healey bested Republican John Miller to fill Coakley’s seat as the state’s top law enforcement official.

“It’s about experience,” Healey said during the campaign. “I’ll be ready to go on day one to continue and build on some of the successes in that office and take the fights where they need to go when it comes to combating heroin and prescription drug abuse, ending gun violence, leading on criminal justice reform and standing up for consumers.”

Healey is the nation’s first openly gay attorney general. Her toughest battle was against former state senator Warren Tolman in the Democratic primary. Governor Patrick threw his support behind Tolman as did delegates at the Democratic Convention in June, but voters decided Healey was the one to send to the general election. Since then Healey, a 5-foot-4 former professional basketball player in Austria, beat the 6-foot-6 Governor-elect Charlie Baker in a game of “horse” on the basketball court. Both played for Harvard.

Even after receiving the Democratic endorsement, Steve Grossman’s bid for governor failed, leaving the treasurer’s seat open. Former Brookline Select Board Chair Deborah Goldberg topped Republican Mike Heffernan and Green-Rainbow candidate Ian Jackson to keep the seat in Democratic hands.

“I’ll help give people the financial skills to succeed in today’s tough economy,” Goldberg said in a campaign video. “I’ll lead on wage equality from day one. Everyone deserves equal pay for equal work. Teach people how to save money and avoid debt and fraud. A college savings plan for kindergarten kids who need it most.”

In a race that didn’t receive much attention, Auditor Suzanne Bump was elected to a second term, edging Republican Patricia Saint-Aubin and MK Merelice, who ran as a Green-Rainbow candidate. During her first term, Bump did ruffle some Democratic feathers by reorganizing her office and issuing reports critical of state agencies.

“We have progressed from failing a peer review in 2011 to achieving just this past March, the highest possible rating in government auditing,” Bump said while accepting the Democratic nomination in June. “That is what I promised. That is what I have done.” 

And in a race that received attention for the lack of debates that led to a surprise face-off at Malden High School October 27th, Secretary of the Commonwealth Bill Galvin was reelected. In office since 1995, the Democrat beat Republican Dave D’Arcangelo and Danny Factor of the Green-Rainbow Party. Here’s Galvin accepting his party’s nomination at the Democratic Convention in Worcester.

“You have given me the opportunity to administer our elections here in Massachusetts for many years,” Galvin said. “And I am very proud of the fact that we have run our elections here in Massachusetts free of fraud, clear access for all voters and have over four million registered voters here in Massachusetts.”

Charlie Baker and Karyn Polito are to be sworn in Jan. 8th. Healey, Goldberg, Bump and Galvin will be inaugurated Jan. 21st.

Jim is WAMC’s Associate News Director and hosts WAMC's flagship news programs: Midday Magazine, Northeast Report and Northeast Report Late Edition. Email: jlevulis@wamc.org
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