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Allen ending campaign for Massachusetts governor

A photo of Danielle Allen on Zoom
Josh Landes
Danielle Allen.

Harvard professor Danielle Allen is ending her campaign for governor of Massachusetts. The Democrat announced the move in a statement Tuesday afternoon, saying she is “winding down” her bid to replace two-term Republican Charlie Baker.

She criticized the state’s ballot access process, saying the current party caucus system does a disservice to Massachusetts’ democracy. Also in the Democratic field are state Senator Sonia Chang-Díaz and Attorney General Maura Healey.

Republicans running include former state Representative Geoff Diehl and businessman Chris Doughty.

Chang-Díaz issued a statement on Allen's decision:

“Danielle Allen has brought an important voice and valuable experience to the campaign trail every day, including in areas of housing, criminal justice, democracy, and health equity. She’s been clear that Massachusetts and our next Governor need to take on the status quo, act with the vision and urgency that this moment demands, and deliver real, transformational change for our state. Thank you, Danielle, for the time, personal connections, and meaningful policy discussions we shared on the trail. I look forward to your continued contributions in the months and years to come.”

Here is Allen's full statement:

“Our democracy is in dire straits. It has lost the confidence and trust of many of us, and it is not securing safety, wellbeing, and happiness for many of us. The pandemic, climate crisis, inequality, and racial injustice all make that clear. I entered this race because I believe this is a time of profound urgency for the future of our constitutional democracy. I believe that in the decade ahead we will, in Lincoln’s words, either nobly save or meanly lose the last best hope on earth.

“I also believe that the path forward for our democracy and out of this dark hard time lies in the states — where we can build trustworthy, accountable government, government where all are included and have voice. Throughout my campaign for governor, I have worked to shine a light on these issues, and build public commitment for a path forward towards that government — one that delivers for our most basic needs by securing the basic building blocks of healthy communities, a healthy democracy, and a healthy climate.

“I am incredibly proud of the work our campaign has done to drive progress on these issues and on behalf of Massachusetts families — from pushing housing to the top of the conversation, to driving broad support for an executive branch that adheres to the Public Records Act, to becoming the first gubernatorial candidate in Massachusetts history to call for the decriminalization of addiction. I’m incredibly proud to have led these efforts as the first Black woman in the history of Massachusetts to run for statewide office. Today, while I am announcing my decision to wind down my campaign for governor, my commitment to continue creating progress on these issues — arm in arm with activists and community members across our Commonwealth — is unwavering.

“As I transition out of this campaign and towards my next phase of work on behalf of our democracy, I want to sound an alarm on something that has become clearer to me through this work — a ballot access process that does a disservice to Massachusetts’ history of leadership on democracy. Through both simple math in a winner-takes-all process, and limited engagement access for the broader Democratic electorate, the current ballot access procedure through the current caucus system is leading to a serious impoverishment of our democracy — fewer choices on the ballot, fewer non-traditional candidates able to enter the pipeline. In Massachusetts, where we pride ourselves on being the birthplace of democracy, there is no excuse for ballot access procedures that push out qualified but non-traditional candidates and rob the people of Massachusetts of real choice on their ballot. As I reflect on my next steps for civic engagement, working on democratic reform in this area will be a priority for me.

“To the supporters, volunteers, donors, friends, family, and staff who stepped up to be a part of this big team of guts and grit and heart and hustle: thank you for your work to move mountains on behalf of Massachusetts communities. And to everyone who paused to take a second look at this first-time, nontraditional, big-hearted campaign — thank you for seeing the value in a fresh perspective, and the courage to reimagine the possible. Our commitment is our power, and it isn’t going anywhere. I’m looking forward to working with you, in the next iteration, to keep building One Commonwealth.”

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