Maura Healey could become the first openly gay attorney general in the nation after securing the Democratic nomination Tuesday (9 September).
When the polls showed she defeated state lawmaker Warren Tolman for the nomination by 62.4% to 37.6%, she went on to thank those who supported her ‘underdog’ campaign, promising to champion the rights of workers, students and homeowners if elected.
‘These are the fights that have driven this campaign from the beginning, these are the fights that matter, this is what this is about,’ she said, reported the Boston Globe.
Stephen Peters from gay rights organization Human Rights Campaign (HRC), hailed Healey’s victory as a ‘historic’ moment that sends ‘a message of hope and empowerment to [LGBT] citizens in Massachusetts and across the country’.
Though she was facing off against a veteran lawmaker as a relative newcomer, Healey counted on task support from the Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts and the Human Rights Campaign.
The openly lesbian lawmaker played a pivotal role in leading Massachusetts’s case against the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), a federal law signed by former president Bill Clinton that defined marriage solely between a man and a woman and barred same-sex couples from accessing the same federal benefits.
The case she helped present as assistant attorney general was the first time a state successfully challenged DOMA, since a federal judge then ruled DOMA was unconstitutional.
Healey is one of two openly gay nominees for statewide office, joining Steve Kerrigan, who is the Democratic candidate for lieutenant governor.
She will go on to run against Republican John Miller in the upcoming November elections.