In the race for Massachusetts attorney general, a victory by Democrat Andrea Campbell would make her the first Black woman elected to statewide office.
On Saturday, she campaigned for the first time with current Attorney General Maura Healey, a Democrat who would become the first woman elected as governor and the nation’s first openly lesbian governor if she prevails in her own race in November.
Healey announced her endorsement of Campbell on Monday while speaking on GBH’s “Boston Public Radio.”
“We’re making history. Are you ready to make history,” Campbell asked supporters while appearing with Healey in Mattapan Square. Campbell represented the neighborhood during her six years on the Boston City Council.
“We’re going to change the game,” she said.
Campbell’s competitors for the Democratic nomination in the attorney general’s race are Shannon Liss-Riordan, a workers’ rights attorney, and Quentin Palfrey, a former assistant attorney general who won the state Democratic Party’s endorsement.
The primary is Sept. 6, but voting has already begun for people who are casting ballots by mail.
Palfrey’s campaign said he is attending events this weekend in Franklin, Bridgewater, Salem, Attleboro, and Falmouth. He has accumulated more than 300 endorsements, his campaign said, including support from progressive organizations and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Local 2222, which is assisting State House workers who are trying to unionize.
“This election is going to be decided by the voters,” a spokesman for Palfrey said in a statement. “Voters want a People’s Lawyer who will take on the Supreme Court, who will fight for Medicare for All, who is endorsed by the Democratic Party, and who isn’t funded by special interests.”
Liss-Riordan’s campaign manager, Jordan Meehan, said in a statement that she is “focused on getting her message to voters and will be spending every day until the polls close doing that.”
“The fact is she is the only practicing lawyer in this race for Attorney General, and voters want someone who practices law to be the next AG,” he said. “We are seeing that every day.”
The winner of the Democratic primary will face James R. McMahon III, the only Republican in the race. In 2018, he ran unsuccessfully against Healey, who captured 70 percent of the vote to win a second term.
Healey is the presumptive Democratic nominee for governor, after state Senator Sonia Chang-Díaz of Jamaica Plain ended her bid in June. The Republicans running for governor are Geoff Diehl, a conservative backed by Donald Trump; and first-time candidate Chris Doughty, a Wrentham businessman.
Healey said she offered her endorsement to Campbell without being solicited because she believes “Andrea is the person best suited to be the next attorney general, the people’s lawyer.”
Campbell has the “courage and conviction” to take on powerful corporations, Healey said, and she has empathy for others drawn from her compelling life story. While poverty and incarceration shaped Campbell’s family history, she excelled academically, graduating from Boston Latin School, Princeton University, and UCLA Law School. In 2012, her twin brother died as a pretrial detainee in state custody. Three years later, she was elected to represent District 4 on the City Council.
In 2020, she launched a bid for mayor but fell short in the preliminary election, finishing third behind her City Council colleagues Annissa Essaibi Georgeand Michelle Wu, the eventual victor.
“She brings an incredible lived experience,” Healey told supporters. “And I know through her lived experience she is going to be all the better situated to deliver for the people who need it the most around this state.”
A short time later, Campbell and Healey crossed paths on the sidewalk with a woman who told them she was homeless.
“I’m Maura Healey. I want to be your governor. This is Andrea Campbell. She wants to be your attorney general,” Healey told her.
“I’ve read up on you,” the woman told Campbell. Then she addressed Healey.
“I don’t know much about you, but your energy’s really good,” she said.
Healey and Campbell then headed north to campaign at the city’s Open Streets event on Blue Hill Avenue, where they were joined by City Councilor Ruthzee Louijeune.
Louijeune said Campbell has spent years advocating for criminal legal reform and social justice.
“I believe in her zealous advocacy,” she said. “She is relentless when it comes to our communities.”