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Campbell, Healey campaign in Roxbury

Despite leads in polls, both say they’re not taking voters for granted

Yawu Miller
Yawu Miller is the former senior editor of the Bay State Banner. He has written for the Banner since 1988.... VIEW BIO
Campbell, Healey campaign in Roxbury
Andrea Campbell, Councilor Ruthzee Louijeune and Attorney General Maura Healey speak with food truck owner Nathalie Lecorps during the Open Streets festival on Blue Hill Avenue in Roxbury. BANNER PHOTO

Facing a Democratic opponent who has folded her campaign and two conservative Republicans, one of whom is backed by former President Donald Trump, Attorney General Maura Healey is widely seen as the likely winner in the Nov. 8 election for governor.

Yet, on one of the hottest days of the year, Healey was stumping on Blue Hill Avenue with Andrea Campbell, who is in a three-way race for the soon-to-be vacated attorney general seat.

“This race is not decided, and I need help and support if you want a governor who’s going to see people where they are, meet people where they are, listen to people where they are and deliver,” Healey said, standing near the corner of Moreland Street and Blue Hill Avenue during the city’s Open Streets party.

Campbell, a former Boston City Council President who has polled well ahead of her opponents, former U.S. Department of Commerce General Counsel Quentin Palfrey and labor attorney Shannon Liss-Riordan, says she, too, faces a battle in the Democratic primary. She noted Liss-Riordan’s $3 million loan to her own campaign, which many see as a precursor to a broadcast advertising blitz.

“We’re not taking anything or anyone for granted,” Campbell said. “I’m going to keep working hard building the grassroots people-power campaign that we’re building and making sure that folks feel like they’re a part of it.”

For Healey, who is leading GOP front-runner and Trump supporter Geoff Diehl by nearly 30 points in polling, the campaign events give her a chance to support down-ballot Democratic candidates while also hearing directly from voters.

Not surprisingly, the high cost of housing tops the list of complaints Healey hears about.

“Rents are too expensive,” she said. “Nobody can afford down payments. People can’t even afford to downsize.”

Other concerns include the unreliability of the MBTA and other regional transit authorities, as well as the cost of transit in Massachusetts, Healey said. With the MBTA under federal investigation, Healey said she supports increased funding for the agency.

“I think that there have been decades of mismanagement and underinvestment when it comes to the T, and that’s got to change,” she said. That’s why I’m calling for immediate investment in the infrastructure, immediate investment in workforce recruitment and training.”

For Campbell, the stakes may be a bit higher. Although she has consistently led in polling, in late June, 65% of voters were still undecided in the race for attorney general. With Liss-Riordan’s ad buys looming, those undecideds many swing away from Campbell.

“We have to door-knock and phone-bank and get out the vote — in early voting and on Election Day,” Campbell said.

Tagging along with Healey and Campbell was at-large City Councilor Ruthzee Louijeune, who is not facing re-election this year but said she’s concerned about voter turnout, with the primary coming on Tuesday, Sept. 6, the day after the Labor Day holiday.

She noted what she sees as a lack of nonpartisan get-out-the-vote organizing that puts the onus on city officials to remind voters when to cast ballots — whether through early voting or in person on Sept. 6.

“There’s a lot more work we have to do as a city in terms of getting people out to vote,” she said. “An election perceived as non-competitive won’t always bring people out.”

Andrea Campbell, Maura Healey, Nov. election