Black News and Black Views with a Whole Lotta Attitude
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Black News and Black Views with a Whole Lotta Attitude

Massachusetts Is Close To Having Its First Black Woman Attorney General

Boston City Council President Andrea Cambell won the Democratic Primary by a landslide.

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Boston City Councilor, and candidate for state attorney general, Andrea Campbell speaks during the state’s Democratic party convention, Saturday, June 4, 2022, in Worcester, Mass.
Boston City Councilor, and candidate for state attorney general, Andrea Campbell speaks during the state’s Democratic party convention, Saturday, June 4, 2022, in Worcester, Mass.
Photo: Michael Dwyer (AP)

Massachusetts could be on its way to having the state’s first Black woman attorney general after voters chose Andrea Campbell to be the Democratic nominee for the position on Tuesday.

Campbell, who was previously the first Black woman elected as city council president in Boston, won by a big margin, taking 50.4 percent of the vote compared to her opponent Shannon Liss-Riordan’s 34 percent, despite the fact that the Boston Globe described Riordan as a wealthy challenger with heavy support who lent $9 million of her own cash to her campaign down the stretch.

Campbell now has to face Republican James R. McMahon III, an attorney who ran unopposed in his party’s primary but who lacks name recognition in a state where Democrats are regarded as having an advantage. He has also lost two previous runs for office. That puts Campbell in the immediate position of being the front-runner for the job as Massachusetts’ top law enforcement official.

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If she wins, she’ll join New York Attorney General Letitia James as the only other sitting Black woman state attorney general in the country, assuming James holds her seat in a Nov. 8 general election. One of the few to precede James, California’s Kamala Harris, used the office as a springboard to a U.S. Senate seat and ultimately the vice presidency.

It’s unclear whether Campbell has that level of political ambition but she is emerging as a skilled and perseverant politician on the left. At 40, she’s already been tested by tough races for city council and mayor in Boston, a city with a long reputation for racism that only last year elected a woman, Michelle Wu, as mayor. Kim Janey preceded Wu and was the first Black woman to hold the seat but she was appointed following the departure of Boston’s former Mayor Marty Walsh.

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Perhaps more impressive is that Campbell won despite the fact that Wu, Janey and Sen. Elizabeth Warren endorsed Liss-Riordan, and the Massachusetts Democratic Party endorsed a third candidate, Quentin Palfrey, who dropped out of the race.