Maura Healey Makes History as First Openly Lesbian U.S. Governor

Massachusetts’ Maura Healey (D) made history on Election Day after defeating Republican opponent Geoff Diehl by 28 percentage points in the state’s now-called gubernatorial race, making Healey Massachusetts’ first female governor and the first out-lesbian governor in U.S. history. 

Healey first made waves in the political world by becoming the country’s first openly lesbian attorney general in 2014, a milestone that was widely celebrated by LGBT activists. As AG, she utilized her power to hold pharmaceutical giants Purdue Pharma and the Sackler family accountable for their role in fueling the opioid epidemic. Her office also joined the fight against climate change, suing Exxon Mobil for lying about the threat level of rising global temperatures.

Well-respected in Massachusetts’ political sphere, the Democrat did exceptionally well in the gubernatorial polls, not once lagging behind Diehl, and held big advantages in fundraising and name recognition. Healey’s campaign promises to follow through on a number of Democratic priorities, including expanding affordable housing, adding green jobs, better job training, and improving public transportation. Healey ran alongside lieutenant governor candidate Kim Driscoll, mayor of Salem.

Geoff Diehl, a former state representative, endorsed by Trump, co-chaired the former president’s 2016 campaign in Massachusetts. Diehl’s lack of momentum in the polls may stem from the fact that Trump has been deeply unpopular in the New England state since his time in office.

Addressing her supporters at a victory rally in Boston on Tuesday evening, Maura Healey proudly dedicated her win to “every little girl and every young LGBTQ person out there.”

“I hope tonight shows you that you can be whatever, whoever you want to be,” she declared to a roaring crowd. “And nothing and no one can ever get in your way except your own imagination, and that’s not going to happen.”

Healey’s political victory represents yet another step forward for LGBT activists, who see her win as proof of the progress made.

Annise Parker, the president and CEO of the LGBTQ Victory Fund, which helps queer candidates get elected to public office, said in a statement that Healey’s historic win will “help send a message that LGBTQ people have a place in American society and can become respected public leaders […] We are confident that under Maura’s leadership, Massachusetts will reach new heights as one of the most inclusive states in the country.”

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