Massachusetts State Treasurer Deborah B. Goldberg, a former businesswoman who has embraced mixing public and private funding in bids to expand the office’s reach, said she will run for a third term, which could make her one of the office’s longest-serving incumbents.
Goldberg’s decision to seek reelection this fall was widely expected in Democratic circles. A former local official whose family started the Stop & Shop supermarket chain, Goldberg opted against running for an open congressional seat in 2020, saying she had unfinished work in her statewide office.
The Brookline Democrat said she still feels that way. She plans to officially launch her reelection bid on Wednesday, the day her father and political mentor turns 92.
“I’m the one who does the beginning, the middle and hopefully there is no end — hopefully [the work] sustains itself,” Goldberg, 67, said in an interview. She cited a statewide program she launched that’s designed to help families save for college debts by making every baby born in Massachusetts eligible to receive $50.
“To continue work on programs like that and to make sure it’s absolutely sustainable long after Deb Goldberg is around really is important,” she said.
Should Goldberg win a third four-year term, she would become Massachusetts’ second longest-tenured treasurer behind only the late Robert Q. Crane, a Democrat who led the office for 27 years and whom Goldberg said she knew as a child.
Goldberg easily won reelection four years ago, topping a former Republican national committeewoman by nearly 40 points, and if successful this year, she didn’t rule out seeking another term in 2026. Around the time she was weighing a congressional bid in the fall of 2019, she recalled holding a meeting in an office conference room where a portrait of Crane hangs, directly in her line of vision.
“And he’s looking from across the room at me and he’s staring at me [saying], ‘Don’t be a damn fool,’ ” Goldberg said of potentially leaving office.
No other potential Democratic candidates have emerged for the seat, and no Republican has yet to file paperwork with state campaign finance regulators indicating interest in running. Joseph Malone was the last Republican to hold the seat when he left office in 1999 after two terms.
While an afterthought for many voters, the state treasurer wields authority over billions of public dollars, leading a loosely connected series of boards and panels that oversee the state’s retirement fund, the state lottery, and alcohol regulation, among others. The office also handles contracts that are awarded to law firms and bond traders.
Goldberg touts making other strides. The Massachusetts Pension Reserves Investment Management Board, which Goldberg chairs, said in December the pension fund’s balance had reached $101 billion, marking the first time it’s crossed the $100 billion threshold.
She pushed to use the fund as a weapon in the fight against climate change, recommending that the fund’s managers pressure companies to cut emissions and take other measures to comply with world climate goals. Goldberg also advocated for allowing the lottery to offer online sales, and getting a legislative proposal approved to require Massachusetts schools offer financial literacy education, backed in part by private funds.
It’s a model she used to launch the college savings program, through which residents have set up 14,100 accounts since the start of 2020. Goldberg’s office raised $426,000 in private donations to help fund it before the Massachusetts Educational Financing Authority, a legislatively created nonprofit and student loan lender, took over financial backing of the program.
Should she run unopposed in the fall primary, her race would stand out on a slate otherwise defined by its potential for change.
Four of the state’s six constitutional offices will open after Governor Charlie Baker, Lieutenant Karyn Polito Attorney General Maura Healey, and state Auditor Suzanne Bump all said they will not seek reelection, with Healey launching her own gubernatorial bid.
Secretary of State William F. Galvin said Sunday he’ll seek a historic eighth term, but he will face a Democratic primary challenge for the second time in as many cycles, this time from local NAACP chapter head Tanisha M. Sullivan.
Matt Stout can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @mattpstout.