Andrea Campbell, the former Boston city councilor who launched an unsuccessful bid for mayor last year, is seriously considering running for the now-open attorney general’s seat, according to people familiar with her thinking.
Campbell’s interest in the role surfaced publicly just hours after Attorney General Maura Healey launched her campaign for governor Thursday, making official what Democrats had long expected after Healey hinted, and then publicly acknowledged, months ago she was considering a corner office run.
At least two other Democrats appear primed to soon announce their own campaigns for attorney general: Quentin Palfrey, Massachusetts Democrats’ 2018 nominee for lieutenant governor and an attorney who has served in the Biden administration, and Shannon Liss-Riordan, a Brookline labor attorney and one-time US Senate candidate.
Marian Ryan, the district attorney in Middlesex County, has not said whether she intends to seek reelection this fall, and a spokesman said Thursday that the Belmont Democrat has not ruled out a possible bid for attorney general.
New Bedford Mayor Jon Mitchell, a former federal prosecutor, said he, too, has had “discussions” about possibly seeking the seat. First elected in 2011, the Democrat was previously an assistant US attorney in Boston and helped oversee efforts to track the late James “Whitey” Bulger.
“I’m not ruling anything out,” Mitchell said in a statement Thursday.
Palfrey, who served as the chief of the attorney general’s Health Care Division at a time when Healey oversaw its Civil Rights Division, pitched him Thursday in Healey’s mold, promising to be the “people’s lawyer” — an oft-repeated phrase Healey used in her own gubernatorial announcement — and to protect consumers.
“Maura has been a fantastic Attorney General and I would be honored to build on her great work,” Palfrey, a Weston Democrat, said in a statement.
A partner at Lichten & Liss-Riordan in Boston, Liss-Riordan has gained national attention for her legal crusades on behalf of workers against Amazon, Google, FedEx, and Starbucks. She’s expected to make a formal campaign announcement next week, according to a person familiar with her plans.
Campbell, a Mattapan Democrat and attorney who was the first Black woman to serve as city council president, rooted her campaign for mayor last year in her family’s own experience with the criminal legal system and pushed for progressive changes.
On the City Council, Campbell pressed the need for body cameras on police and proposed an independent civilian review board with subpoena power to investigate complaints against officers — a proposal that evolved into the city’s new Office of Police Accountability and Transparency.
As a mayoral candidate, she supported eliminating cash bail and mandatory minimums as part of what she called a “restorative justice model instead of a law enforcement one.” Campbell was eliminated from the race after finishing third in the preliminary mayoral election, behind now-Mayor Michelle Wu and then-City Councilor Annissa Essaibi George.