Maura Healey claims historic victory, elected first woman governor in Massachusetts
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BOSTON — Democrat Maura Healey scored a decisive and historic victory Tuesday night, becoming the first elected female governor in Massachusetts and the nation's first openly lesbian governor, according to a race call by The Associated Press.
Healey, the state's Attorney General since 2014, overwhelmed her Republican opponent, former state Rep. Geoff Diehl, and put the governorship firmly back in Democratic hands after Republican Gov. Charlie Baker declined to seek a third term.
Diehl was endorsed by former President Donald Trump, who remains deeply unpopular in Massachusetts.
Healey never trailed in the polls and held huge advantages in fundraising and name recognition. She campaigned on a long list of Democratic priorities, including expanding affordable housing, promoting green jobs, and improving public transportation.
"Let's put money back in people's pockets by cutting the costs of housing, energy and health care," Healey said last June, when she accepted her party's nomination.
As the state's attorney general, Healey initiated or joined dozens of lawsuits against the Trump administration – from challenging his Muslim travel ban to protecting immigrant rights to suing the EPA for delaying or rolling back environmental regulations.
Healey's historic victory burnishes her profile as a leader in the LGBTQ community.
"I'm proud of who I am," Healey told WBUR. She said she is especially moved when young people from that community tell her they feel comforted by her success.
"Kids need to understand and believe that they are loved, they are seen and that they can be whoever they are," she said.
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