These Women Could Become the First Openly Lesbian Governors in the Country If They Win Their Races This Fall
Maura Healey, the barrier-breaking attorney general of Massachusetts, secured the Democratic nomination for governor on Tuesday, according to The Associated Press, putting her on track to become the first woman to be elected governor in the state.
If Ms. Healey wins in November, and if another Democrat running for governor of Oregon, Tina Kotek, also wins, they would become the first two openly lesbian governors in the country.
Ms. Healey cleared the Democratic field earlier this summer in a state that has elected a string of moderate Republican governors but where Ms. Healey is favored this time, making Massachusetts one of the Democrats’ best opportunities to flip a governor’s seat.
In the race to succeed Gov. Charlie Baker, Ms. Healey will face Geoff Diehl, a right-wing former state lawmaker who was endorsed by former President Donald J. Trump and who defeated Chris Doughty, a businessman and more moderate Republican. Mr. Baker is a popular centrist Republican who decided against running for re-election after Mr. Trump’s endorsement of Mr. Diehl.
“The choice in this election could not be more clear,” Ms. Healey told a crowd of supporters at a watch party in Dorchester earlier on Tuesday night, warning that whoever emerged from the Republican primary would “bring Trumpism to Massachusetts.” She added: “I will be a governor as tough as the state she serves.”
Ms. Healey was the first openly gay attorney general in the nation — she was elected to that office in 2014 — and her history-making potential this year has energized some Democrats in a proudly progressive state that has never elected a woman to serve as governor. Jane M. Swift served as the state’s first female governor; as lieutenant governor she assumed the role after then-Gov. Paul Cellucci became ambassador to Canada in 2001.
“For women who have been around for awhile, and for young women wanting to look up to what’s possible — I can’t believe this is actually happening,” Deb Kozikowski, the vice chair of the Massachusetts Democratic Party, said of Ms. Healey. “She’s breaking barriers right, left and sideways.”