Breaking: Massachusetts Democrats Shatter Glass Ceilings on Election Night
Massachusetts Democrats celebrated a down ballot sweep during election night 2022 at the Fairmont Hotel in Copley Plaza, where supporters and staffers toasted the wins and listened to dozens of speeches that all harped on the same point: for the first time, Women will almost entirely govern Massachusetts.
“To every little girl and every young LGBTQ person out there, I hope tonight shows you that you can be whatever and whoever you want to be,” Massachusetts Governor-elect Maura Healey said in her victory address.
Healey made history as the first woman elected governor of Massachusetts and the first lesbian to be elected governor in the United States.
With Healey and Lieutenant Governor-elect, Kim Driscoll, winning their elections, Massachusetts tied Arkansas as the first states to have women serving concurrently in the Governor and Lieutenant Governor positions.
“Maura's victory is historic as the first elected female governor of Massachusetts,” State Representative Kevin Honan (D-MA) said in an exclusive statement to the BPR. “We're all very proud of her.”
Each speech addressed the historic nature of the evening, and often, the personal struggles they had to overcome in attaining public office.
Newly elected state auditor Diana DiZoglio spoke about serving as the youngest woman in the state senate, and her experience being sexually harassed in the state’s house of representatives as a staffer in her early twenties. “We, the survivors, prevailed tonight,” DiZoglio said to a cheering crowd.
Andrea Campbell became the first Black woman elected to serve in Massachusetts’ state office, and the first woman of color to take the role of attorney general in the state. In her speech, Campbell addressed how the unique hurdles she’s had to overcome as a Black woman in America will shape her service, including the incarceration of her father and death of her brother in Massachusetts’ Department of Corrections custody.
Democratic voter and Campbell campaign volunteer Joseph Ort said Campbell’s message of “turning pain into purpose,” greatly resonated with him, and that he hopes Massachusetts will act as a “beacon across the union,” and inspire more states to elect women into office.
“In Massachusetts we don’t just say representation matters,” Campbell said. “We are showing it.”
The newly elected officials were joined by some of the country’s highest profile Democrats from the state, including U.S. Senators Elizabeth Warren and Ed Markey, and U.S. Representative Ayanna Pressley.
Warren, who echoed the sentiments of other leaders, celebrated the blue wave that swept the state. “When we stand together, when we persist together, we win together,” Warren said.
After eight years under Republican Governor Charlie Baker, and a history of balancing party powers with a conservative head of state government, Democrats have seized control of all three branches of the Commonwealth’s government.
Massachusetts has long been regarded as one of the most progressive states in the country. But the amount of firsts from this election proved how much progress is left to be made.
According to the Globe, there have been 15 women elected to state wide office in Massachusetts; five of them from the 2022 midterm election. Massachusetts made history, perhaps altering the trajectory of future politics in the state.
Baker consistently polled as one of the most popular of any governor in the country, despite Massachusetts’ deep blue roots. After inner-party rifts throughout the Trump era, he chose not to seek re-election and the Massachusetts GOP pivoted right, towards a sect of candidates that fair poorly in the Commonwealth. They might not make that mistake again—and when 60% of the state’s voters are independent, Democrats can’t bank on partisanship to carry them through the 2024 general election.