Adam G. Hinds, a three-term Democratic state senator from Pittsfield, said Tuesday that he will seek the lieutenant governor’s office next year, pledging to tackle housing affordability, skyrocketing child-care costs, and the racial wealth gap.
Hinds, who was elected in 2016 after nearly a decade working for the United Nations, said in an interview Tuesday that the state needs “visionary leadership” to address issues laid bare by the coronavirus pandemic.
“It feels clear that we’re at a unique moment in our history, and the pandemic has exposed our greatest weaknesses, but also highlighted our greatest strengths as a Commonwealth,” Hinds said. “It’s a rare moment when you have the will to do something, and it overlaps with the resources to make progress.”
Hinds, 45, said he wants to “ensure the office of the lieutenant governor plays a central role in rethinking our institutions.”
“I want to take this head-on, and I have the background to get it done,” Hinds said, adding that he had spent “most of my career in some of the most complex diplomatic challenges in the world.”
Hinds served as a team leader based in Baghdad for a United Nations-led negotiation between Kurds and Iraqis and spent two years in Jerusalem advising the peace process for the UN, according to his campaign. He worked with then-UN secretary-general Kofi Annan to broker a 2012 ceasefire in Syria.
After returning to Massachusetts, Hinds was the founding director of a youth violence prevention effort called the Pittsfield Community Connection and led the Northern Berkshire Community Coalition, which helps residents with challenges such as employment and mental health issues.
Hinds grew up in Buckland and attended Mohawk Trail Regional High School, his campaign said. He studied at Wesleyan University before earning his master’s degree from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University.
So far, three other Democrats have filed paperwork or have announced they’re running for lieutenant governor, according to state records: state Representative Tami Gouveia, a second-term Democrat from Acton; Bret Bero, a Boston businessman and Babson College lecturer; and Scott Donohue of Melrose.
Three major candidates are running for the Democratic nomination for governor. Republican Charlie Baker hasn’t said whether he’ll seek a third term. Former state representative Geoff Diehl is running for the GOP nomination for governor.
Hinds plans to launch his campaign Wednesday with events in Pittsfield, Springfield, and Boston — starting on his home turf to make sure voters there feel included. (Hinds recently bought a home in Amherst, though he has said he is maintaining his residency in Pittsfield.)
“A lot of people feel they don’t have a voice in government, being from Western Massachusetts. But it’s truly for everyone,” Hinds said. “I think it’s important to remember and demonstrate that the government is for every corner of the Commonwealth.”
Hinds said the office of lieutenant governor plays an important role as a partner to the governor who brings people together to solve problems.
“As the next lieutenant governor,” he said, “I would use my relationship in the Legislature and every corner of the Commonwealth to pull people together on the big issues.”