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Massachusetts women poised for historic gains on Election Day

Election Day is shaping up to be a big day for women candidates in Massachusetts this year.

Seven women from the two major parties are on the ballot for statewide office, including Maura Healey, who is favored to become the state’s first woman and first openly gay governor. Healey and Lt. Gov. candidate Kim Driscoll also represent the state’s first all-female ticket.

Jesse Mermell, who ran unsuccessfully for Congress in 2020, said the wave of women candidates this year sends an important message and will ultimately help increase the number of women who win elections.

“When women run, women win,” said Mermell, the former executive director of the Massachusetts Women’s Political Caucus, which works to increase the number of women elected to public office. And research from the Center for Women and Politics at Rutgers University shows that, across the country, women have won elections at higher rates than men in recent years.

This year, polls show Democratic women in Massachusetts have a good chance of winning five of the state’s six constitutional offices in the deep blue state.

That includes Healey and Driscoll, who are running for governor and lieutenant governor. Andrea Campbell is leading in the contest for attorney general. Diana Dizoglio is ahead in the race for state auditor. And Deb Goldberg faces a third-party candidate — another woman named Cris Crawford — in her race for state treasurer.

Two Republicans running for statewide office this year are also women: Leah Allen, who is running for lieutenant governor and Rayla Campbell, who is vying for secretary of state.

The only man likely to win statewide office this year is William Galvin, also a Democrat, who is seeking an unprecedented eighth term as secretary of the state.

Mermell said the number of women expected to win statewide office this year is particularly remarkable, since only nine women have served in constitutional offices in the state’s history. That’s just nine women in 242 years.

“And all of them were white women,” she said. “And here we are about to have nearly every statewide office in the commonwealth held by a woman.”


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