Attorney General Maura Healey announced her endorsement Monday for Ayanna Pressley as the next Congresswoman for the 7th Congressional District of Massachusetts.
"Ayanna isn't just my City Councilor. She's not just my partner in government. She’s someone who shares our values and our priorities, who I've depended on for years," Healey said in a statement.
Pressley, who became the first woman of color to be elected in the Boston City Council in its history in 2010, is taking on incumbent U.S. Rep. Michael Capuano. The district is the state’s first "minority-major" district and covers Boston, Cambridge, Milton Chelsea, Everett, Randolph and Somerville.
"Ayanna has been a terrific colleague in government," Healey told NBC10 Boston's Alison King. "This for me is personal, it's about my relationship with Ayanna Pressley and the job I think she'll do representing all of us in Congress.
In a statement, Pressley said she was "deeply honored" to gain Healey's endorsement.
"Throughout this campaign, I have been working to spread our message about the importance of activist leadership in Washington that will work in partnership to address the serious challenges faced by communities across the 7th District, which has become one of the most diverse, but also one of the most unequal districts anywhere in the country," Pressley said.
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the 28-year-old Democrat who unseat 10-term incumbent New York Rep. Joseph Crowley, has also been vocal of her support for Pressley. In late June, Ocasio-Cortez posted a Tweet calling for Massachusetts to vote Pressley in.
Pressley was an early supporter of Healey in her first race for Attorney General when many thought she couldn't beat the establishment favorite Warren Tolman.
"She knows how to win a campaign and she knows what it is to be running a campaign without a lot of establishment support," Pressley said.
Tufts University political science professor Jeff Berry said the endorsement helps to legitimize Pressley‘s candidacy just a month before the primary.
"Maura Healey is part of the Democratic establishment and it’s really unusual for somebody in her position to go against a loyal Democratic incumbent Congressman," Berry said. "Capuano is aware of the danger. He’s not resting on his laurels. His campaign is energized as well and I think he understands that he’s in some danger."
Pressley has called on defunding the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement and has made the advocacy of women a key focus in her campaign.