Massachusetts governor-elect Maura Healey

Massachusetts attorney general and Democratic candidate for Gov. Maura Healey, center, greets supporters during a campaign stop, Monday, Nov. 7, 2022, in Boston's East Boston neighborhood.

(The Center Square) – Maura Healey has become the first openly lesbian governor in the country and first woman to hold the post in Massachusetts’ history.

Healey, a Democrat, bested Republican challenger Geoff Diehl in a race called by The Associated Press minutes after polls closed at 8 p.m. Tuesday. Diehl, a former state representative, had received an endorsement from former President Donald Trump.

"To those who voted for me and to those who didn't I want you to know that I'll be a governor for everyone and I'll work with anyone who's up for making a difference in this state," Healey told celebrating supporters in a downtown Boston hotel. "Tonight I want to say something 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 and nothing and no one can ever get in your way except your own imagination and that's not going to happen."

As of 8:30 p.m., Healey had raced out of the gate with 60% of the vote, while Diehl had garnered just 38.6% of the vote. Libertarian candidate Kevin Reed culled 1.5% of the vote.

Healey said in a tweet 30 minutes before polls closed that, “Massachusetts is home to the first public park, school and library in America. The first ironworks, printing press – and the first battle of the Revolution.

“Massachusetts wasn’t built on division or fear. It was built on courage, and built by working together to get things done.”

Healey’s victory puts a Democrat in the governor’s seat for the first time since 2016. She had been serving as the state’s attorney general since 2015.

She pledged during her campaign to work to improve the child tax credit in an effort to help families deal with rising costs. Her tax plan would benefit 700,000 families with a child tax credit of $600 per child.

Healey campaigned on a platform of leading and delivering a clean energy transition in the state, while creating good-paying jobs, protecting communities, and grasping environmental injustices. She said combating climate change is a top priority.

She plans to fund workforce development in an effort to create training programs that would build and train the workforce for today’s in-demand jobs. The newly elected governor also plans to electrify buildings and guide the state’s transportation system away from fossil fuels.

Associate Editor

Brent Addleman is an Associate Editor and a veteran journalist with more than 25 years of experience. He has served as editor of newspapers in Pennsylvania and Texas, and has also worked at newspapers in Delaware, Maryland, New York, and Kentucky.