Demanding “more from the corner office,” state Representative Tami Gouveia, a second-term Democrat from Acton, on Monday launched a campaign for lieutenant governor, rocketing herself into a still-developing field with more than a year to go before the statewide election.
With a doctorate in public health, Gouveia is running on health care and advocating for a stronger social safety net, a need she says was highlighted, but not created, by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The crises facing us require a public health response,” she said in her announcement. “For our state to fully and equitably recover from the pandemic, we need statewide leadership. We need to bring everyone along.”
Gouveia is running as a progressive, showcasing her support for policies like Medicare for All, universal pre-kindergarten, expanded public transportation, and affordable housing. A Lowell native, Gouveia nodded in her announcement video to the role community and government played in boosting her family into the middle class. She founded and co-led the Massachusetts chapter of the Women’s March.
Gouveia enters the field as a number of other Massachusetts politicians jostle for a position in next year’s elections. While Republican Governor Charlie Baker and Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito have yet to declare their plans, a number of Democrats are already mulling campaigns of their own, and more still are rumored to be in the mix for the state’s top two jobs. Activity and speculation about the 2022 races has picked up intensity in the last few weeks after state Auditor Suzanne Bump announced she will not run again.
State Senator Adam Hinds, a Pittsfield Democrat, confirmed to the Globe on Monday that he is “seriously looking” at running for a statewide office next year and is putting a team together to help with the process.
“I haven’t made any final decisions, but I am considering Lt Gov.,” he said.
State Senator Eric Lesser, a Longmeadow Democrat who emerged as a vocal critic of Baker during the pandemic, has signaled interest in a statewide run, party insiders said.
The uncertain 2022 election cycle could make history, with as many as five seats potentially open among the state’s top offices. The state’s top officials, including Baker, Attorney General Maura Healey, and Secretary of State William F. Galvin, have yet to announce their plans, while Bump’s announcement has already set the stage for a competitive Democratic primary. The incumbents’ decisions could either solidify their longevity in calcified Massachusetts politics or open up a suite of opportunities for up-and-coming candidates.
In the gubernatorial race, a number of Democrats, including Healey, could become contenders. Former state lawmaker Ben Downing has already declared his candidacy, while Harvard professor Danielle Allen and state Senator Sonia Chang-Dίaz of Jamaica Plain are exploring runs.
At least six sitting Democratic state senators have privately expressed interest in running for a statewide seat.