Three weeks before a primary election in which she faces no active opponent, Attorney General Maura Healey, the presumptive Democratic nominee for governor, released her first television advertisement since she launched her campaign in January.
The 30-second ad, which will run statewide starting Tuesday, tells voters a précis of her life story and illustrates some of her bread-and-butter policy platforms, a strategy that campaign professionals say will serve her well in November.
“As governor, I’ll make Massachusetts more affordable,” Healey says in the ad, which will air on broadcast and cable as well as streaming services. “We’ll cut taxes, reduce costs in housing and transportation, improve education, and make vocational training available so every student has the skills they need. Let’s do this together.”
The spot brings in Healey’s childhood in Hampton Falls, N.H., featuring photos and footage from her basketball career and her childhood home, a farmhouse her parents bought in an auction.
Her mother, a school nurse, spent years raising the Healey children on her own, with help from her parents, who were very involved in the children’s lives and visited often from Newburyport.
The ad, titled “Teamwork” underscores her campaign promise to bring people across the state together.
“I’ve stood with you as the people’s lawyer, and now I’m running to be your governor,” Healey, 51, says in the ad. “I grew up one of five kids raised by a single mom, a school nurse. It wasn’t always easy, but teamwork got us through. I believe in teamwork. I’ve seen it on the court and in the court as your attorney general.”
The advertisement also incorporates video of Healey with supporters on the campaign trail: taking photos with supporters, sitting in a coffee shop, holding a young child, and cheering along a group holding signs with endorsements from Boston labor union IBEW Local 103.
The TV spot is “clearly a general election ad,” said Democratic strategist Mary Anne Marsh.
Healey, who does not face a primary opponent after state Senator Sonia Chang-Díaz dropped out of the race in June, is far ahead of either Republican primary candidate in the polls.
Recent surveys show Healey, who had more than $5.5 million in her campaign war chest, running ahead of the two candidates campaigning for the GOP nomination by more than 30 percentage points. They are former state representative Geoff Diehl and Wrentham businessman Chris Doughty.
“The true Maura Healey is the point guard on the basketball court, and she applies that to everything she does in life,” Marsh said.
Basketball is a universal language and Healey has been successful in her past campaigns by leaning into her athletic career, she added. For example, including former Boston Celtics point guard Bob Cousy in her campaign for attorney general in 2014 helped introduce Healey to new voters in a heated primary election.
“It caught everyone’s attention,” Marsh said.
Doug Rubin, a political consultant who advised both of former Governor Deval Patrick’s successful gubernatorial campaigns, said Healey’s new ad signals that the South End Democrat is taking advantage of a longer runway toward the general election.
Without a competitive primary, Healey is able to get ahead of possible attacks from a Republican opponent. While general election opponents may lean into inflation and economic issues to “scare voters,” Rubin said, Healey has the room to come out early and say that she has a plan for working residents.
“It reminded me of a very well-done and well-thought-out general election ad where it is introducing her in a personal way and relatable way. It starts to lay out the major themes,” Rubin said. “There’s no question, it’s an advantage I think she has now.”