Democratic Attorney General Maura Healey has been elected governor of Massachusetts, making history as the state’s first woman and first openly gay candidate elected to the office, NBC News projected.
Andrea Campbell was elected attorney general — she is the first Black woman elected to statewide office in Massachusetts — and Bill Galvin was reelected as secretary of state, NBC News projected.
Campbell, a former Boston city councilor who ran unsuccessfully for mayor last year, will become the first Black woman to serve as the state’s top law enforcement officer. Campbell has promised a focus on equity.
Healey defeated Republican Geoff Diehl, a former state representative who had the endorsement of former President Donald Trump. Her election returns the governor’s office to Democrats after eight years of Republican leadership under the popular Gov. Charlie Baker, who opted not to seek reelection.
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Healey and her running mate, Salem Mayor Kim Driscoll, were among three all-female governor/lieutenant governor tickets in the U.S. that began Election Day with a chance to become the first such pairing elected to lead a state.
"This team and this ticket, this is the first time in our country's history where we've ever elected two women at the top," Healey said.
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The governor-elect addressed a crowd of her supporters Tuesday night.
"We are lucky to live in Massachusetts. Because in Massachusetts, we strive to be a place of equality in opportunity, a place where you can be proud of who you are, and you can be sure that we're not going to let anyone take that away," Healey said. "The people of Massachusetts, tonight, have given us a historic opportunity and a mandate to act, so we're going to ignore the noise, we're going to focus every day on making a positive difference in people's lives."
Healey said she would "be a governor for every person struggling with higher costs," adding that she intends to make Massachusetts more affordable.
"We'll cut taxes, fix roads and bridges, invest in education and job training, and we'll take on the climate crisis and create great clean-energy jobs," she said. "And as long as I'm governor, women will always have the freedom to control their own bodies, and our state will provide access to safe, legal abortion. We will protect women, we will protect patients, and we will protect providers."
Sen. Elizabeth Warren celebrated Healey's victory shortly after the AP called it.
Diehl spoke to his supporters Tuesday night. People in the crowd shouted at him not to concede and that "every vote counts."
"I understand every vote counts. It will be counted, I know the state will count those votes. But right now, the gap that we have is impossible to close, so I have called Maura Healey's team," Diehl said. "I spoke with her and congratulated her on her win."
He asked for his voters to wish his opponent success as governor.
"I ask everyone who supported me and Leah to give [Healey] the same opportunity for success that I would have asked if the shoe had been on the other foot," Diehl said to a round of applause. "Despite the outcome, I'm proud of the race we ran, and we highlighted issues that are important for people across the entire state."
Both Healey and Diehl said that they were confident heading into Election Day, but Healey led every poll by 20 to 30 points.
Diehl is a former state representative and business owner who campaigned on a platform about giving voters more power, protecting taxpayer dollars and building trust between the public and government.
"You know I’ve never really worried about the polls," Diehl said ahead of the results coming in. "We always just worried about making sure we were able to get our message out there and reach the voters we’re able to reach. We think the audience that’s coming out to vote understand what’s at stake."
Healey, who is the state's attorney general, campaigned on a plan to cut taxes, reduce housing costs and improve education.
"They’re on board with an agenda that’s about delivering for people and not dividing them," Healey said.
Asked about Healey’s lead in the polls, Diehl pointed to Republican Scott Brown‘s surprise 2010 U.S. Senate win over Democrat Martha Coakley.
“There is a quiet vote out there that’s going to be coming out," he predicted.
Diehl, who was endorsed by former President Donald Trump, courted mostly Republican leaning communities and news outlets to spread his message.
“I think people are looking for government to pull back," he shared. "And I’m somebody who trusts the people of Massachusetts to make their own decisions. Make their own healthcare choices. Make the economic decisions for their own households.”
Healey raised millions more than Diehl to get her message out, where she says in part, “We’ll address issues of affordability right now, confronting so many families. We’ll work on housing, we’ll work on transportation.”
Political consultant Rob Gray said of Diehl, “His message is being snuffed out by Maura Healey‘s louder volume.”
Another key race in Massachusetts on Tuesday is the battle for attorney general between Democrat Andrea Campbell and Republican Jay McMahon — each hoping to break new ground while highlighting very different priorities during their campaigns.
And in the contest for state auditor, Democratic state Sen. Diana DiZoglio is facing Republican Anthony Amore.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.