State Senator Sonia Chang-Diaz is dropping out of the governor’s race, saying she sees “no path,” she can lead her supporters on to win the primary.
“I have never shied away from being honest and that’s why I’m being honest today. I have looked at the numbers every which way, and unfortunately there is no path that I can responsibly, in good faith, lead my supporters on that results in me becoming governor this year,” she announced Tuesday morning in Jamaica Plain.
Chang-Diaz danced around answering directly whether she was no longer running for governor, but did eventually acknowledge her announcement is the end of her campaign, but not the end, she said, of the progressive movement she has started.
“I am going to be spending my time campaigning and marshaling my supporters and the movement we’ve built for these Courage Democrats down ballot, candidates who walk the walk when it comes to our values,” she added. “I have no doubt that they will fight to put courage over politics in our state, and I am going to be using my energy to help put them into office.”
Her decision clears the way for Attorney General Maura Healey, who currently leads polling, though Chang-Diaz said she will remain on the ballot to give voters a choice in the primary.
“I am keeping my name on the ballot because I think the voters of Massachusetts deserve to have options when deciding who to vote for and because it’s a historic step forward to have gotten the first woman of color on the ballot for governor of Massachusetts,” she said.
Chang-Diaz plans to vote for herself still, she said, as she still sees herself as the best candidate for the state’s top office.
Chang-Diaz was elected Massachusetts’ first Latina and first Asian-American State Senator in 2008 and had success pushing a number of progressive legislative priorities on Beacon Hill, including a $1.5B update to education reform in Massachusetts and the state’s police accountability bill, passed in the aftermath of the killing of George Floyd.
Now that she is the only runner in the primary race Healey can spend her energy focusing on winning the contest against the eventual Republican nominee. That race, between former state Rep. Geoff Diehl and Wrentham businessman Chris Doughty, is running about neck and neck.
“I’m deeply grateful to Senator Sonia Chang-Díaz for her many years of service to Massachusetts and her inspired leadership during this campaign. Ella’s legacy of her campaign will live on through the young girls who finally saw themselves represented in a candidate for the highest office in the state. I look forward to continuing to partner with Senator Chang-Díaz to bring people together and make Massachusetts work for all of our families,” Healey said in a release.
Polling released by UMass Lowell’s Center for Public Opinion yesterday shows Healey leads Diehl, who is the party nominee and former President Donald Trump’s pick for the office, 61% to 30%, with 9% undecided or supporting another candidate. Doughty also polls at 30%, but Healey’s support drops by three points in that match-up.