Campbell announces his candidacy for the office of AG

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Andrea Campbell in Codman Square BANNER PHOTO

Pledging to fight for fairness and opportunity for Massachusetts residents, former District 4 Councilman Andrea Campbell announced her campaign for state attorney general Wednesday morning in Codman Square.

In her remarks, the Mattapan resident described her experience growing up in Boston, living in public housing and seeing family members navigate the criminal justice system. She ticked off her accomplishments, including becoming the first black woman to serve as city council president, serving as an advisor to Governor Deval Patrick.

“I have dedicated my entire life to fighting for more opportunity and fairness,” she said. “And that’s exactly what I will do as Massachusetts’ next attorney general. Because the Attorney General is not only the highest law enforcement official in the state, the Attorney General must be an advocate for fundamental change.

Campbell, who has championed police reform on the Council, recently ran for mayor, placing third in the preliminary vote behind Michelle Wu and Annissa Essaibi George.

She joins labor lawyer Shannon Liss-Riordan and consumer protection lawyer Quentin Palfrey in the race. A MassInc poll, conducted before Campbell’s announcement, showed her leading with 31% of 504 registered voters responding saying they favored her, compared to 3% favoring Liss-Riordan and 2% favoring Palfrey (54 % were undecided).

State Senator Lydia Edwards, State Representative Brandy Flucker-Oakley, current District 4 Councilman Brian Worrell, former State Representative Dan Cullinane, Essaibi George, former State Representative Marc Draisen and the former Codman Square neighborhood joined Campbell for the campaign launch. Bill Walczak, general manager of the health center.

While Mass Inc. Polling showed Campbell polling strong inside Route 128 she will need to build a statewide organization to secure the Attorney General’s seat. She has already started to set up a campaign organization. His campaign manager, Will Stockton, led former Newton Mayor Setti Warren’s gubernatorial run in 2018 and ran campaigns in New Hampshire, Nevada and New Jersey. Campbell raised $1.8 million in his run for mayor and will likely need to raise a similar amount for a statewide campaign.

Campbell is running in a cycle marked by vacancies in key constitutional offices. At the top of the Democratic ticket, current Attorney General Maura Healey, State Senator Sonia Chang-Diaz and Harvard University professor Danielle Allen are running for the soon to be vacated gubernatorial seat by Charlie Baker. Former state senator Jeff Diehl, a staunch Trump supporter, is expected to lead the Republican pack in the race.

The departure of State Auditor Suzanne Bump has so far attracted two Democratic candidates: State Senator Diana DiZoglio and Chris Dempsy, former executive director of Transit for Mass.

In the race for Commonwealth Secretary, NAACP Boston Branch President Tanisha Sullivan is not waiting for a vacancy. She is challenging 28-year-old incumbent Bill Galvin for the seat, running on a platform to bring about incremental changes to state election laws and greater transparency in state government.

Although no woman of color has ever been elected to statewide office in Massachusetts, recent political trends could shed light on this year’s political cycle. In the 2020 Senate race between incumbent Ed Markey and former U.S. Representative Joe Kennedy, the former relied on a wave of younger, more progressive voters to fend off the latter’s challenge.

In 2018, challenger Ayanna Pressley enjoyed a similar surge in progressive voters when she beat 20-year-old incumbent U.S. Representative Michael Capuano. In both cases, the Democrats’ longstanding belief in the dominance of moderate suburban voters has been contradicted by a surge of progressive voters.

Campbell appears poised to ride that progressive wave, pointing to the attorney general’s ability to ensure people of color and immigrants are treated fairly and to curb predatory lenders and other businesses that prey on low-income people.

“The GA office absolutely has the power to ensure that every ward and postcode in the Commonwealth absolutely participates in [the state’s] prosperity, and families desperately need it right now, and I’m thrilled about that,” she said.

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