Democrats sweep Massachusetts in Nov. 8 elections


Eli Curwin

Massachusetts Governor-elect Maura Healey concludes her speech at the Massachusetts Democratic Party’s Election Night Celebration, Nov. 8 at the Fairmont Copley Plaza.

Eli Curwin, News Staff

Election Day was full of firsts for Massachusetts. The state elected its first Black woman as attorney general, first female governor and first all-female executive team, making it the first state to do so. On Tuesday, historically underrepresented communities were able to see themselves in the five victory speeches given at the Fairmont Copley Plaza. 

Democrats won all nine congressional districts, maintained control of the State House and Senate and flipped a long-standing conservative governorship. It will be the first time since 2014 where Democrats control the state House of Representatives, state Senate and governorship. Maura Healey, the attorney general of Massachusetts, will be the first openly lesbian governor in the United States. and the first female governor of the Commonwealth.

“To every little girl, and every young LGBTQ person out there, I hope tonight shows you that you can be whatever, whoever, you want to be,” said Healey, who attended the Northeastern University School of Law, in her acceptance speech. “Tonight … with the help of so many, we made history, didn’t we? We made history.”

For many in Massachusetts, the importance of the victory lies not in which party won, but who won.

“I think [Healey’s] unafraid to go after those who she feels are taking advantage of the people, the common people that she represents,” said Susie Davidson, a Brookline resident in her 60s, before Healey gave her gubernatorial victory speech. “I saw right then and there [when Healey ran for attorney general], that she was a future star. She had a lot of appealing credentials, her personality, her drive and most importantly, her values.”

In an expected, uncompetitive election, Democratic Governor-elect Healey defeated Republican candidate Geoff Diehl 63.6% to 34.9% with 95% of the vote counted, as of 5:30 p.m. Nov. 9. 

“I’m proud that she’s the first gay attorney general-turned-governor, I’m proud that she’s a woman, I’m proud that she’s about women’s issues. … She’ll take on anything,” Kathy Delaney-Smith, a Newton resident and Healey’s former Harvard Basketball coach, said in an interview.

In addition to the Democrats’ championing the governor’s race, Massachusetts residents also voted blue in the state’s U.S. congressional elections. As the vote count currently stands on Nov. 9 at 5:30 p.m., Massachusetts Democrats kept control of all nine congressional districts with an average margin of victory of about 35 points.

“Movements do not materialize from thin air. Women who are Black, brown, indigenous, AAPI, disabled and queer do not rise to higher office out of manifest of destiny,” said U.S. Rep. Ayanna Pressley, who was re-elected to a third term in Massachusetts’ 7th congressional district. “They are the result of good, old-fashioned hard work. The work that women have been doing for generations. Work felt deeply in community, but too often relegated to a footnote in history or erased altogether.”

Democrats also won the Massachusetts attorney general election, electing Andrea Campbell. Campbell is the first Black woman elected to a statewide position in Massachusetts and the fifth Black woman to serve as a state attorney general in the United States. She won her race by a margin of 24.6 points with more than 95% of the votes counted at 5:30 p.m., Nov. 9.

“For those who have felt unseen, this victory is for you. For those who have felt marginalized, this victory is for you. For those who have felt left out, left behind and undervalued, this victory is for you,” Campbell said. 

In the closest race of the night, Democrats completed their sweep, electing Diana DiZoglio as the state auditor. A state senator, DiZoglio ran on a slew of progressive positions and won the office by a margin of about 16.9 points with more than 95% of votes reported as of 5:30 p.m., Nov. 9.

Long-time Democratic incumbents Bill Galvin and Deborah Goldberg also won their races for secretary of state and state treasurer respectively. Out of the four ballot initiatives up for vote — to create a new income tax level, regulate dental insurance, change alcohol retail licensing criteria and give undocumented immigrants driver’s licenses — Questions 1, 2 and 4 were all approved, with Question 3 being rejected. 

The Democratic elects will be sworn into office throughout January.