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Andrea Campbell: First Black Woman to Qualify for Statewide Ballot

The Massachusetts attorney general hopeful is the first Black woman who has passed the signature threshold for statewide office. She must receive at least 15 percent of the delegate vote in June to officially make the ballot.

(TNS) — As attorney general hopeful Andrea Campbell cradled a storage box filled with more than 10,000 signatures needed to make it onto the ballot this fall, the former Boston city councilor told a cohort of volunteers she was still processing the “historic” and “amazing” moment unfolding in Boston Tuesday morning.

Campbell shattered barriers as she delivered her completed nomination paperwork to the Secretary of the Commonwealth’s office, becoming the first Black woman to pass the signature threshold for statewide office, her campaign said.

Should she win the attorney general bid over labor attorney Shannon-Liss Riordan and lawyer Quentin Palfrey, Campbell’s trailblazing path would continue as the first Black woman elected for statewide in Massachusetts.

“It’s emotional ... representation matters,” Campbell told MassLive outside the McCormack Building. “Folks in the state have been working for generations for political offices to reflect the constituents they serve, and so it’s an an exciting day for me, as well as my volunteers and within the team, and the residents, of course, of Massachusetts.”

To solidify her spot on the ballot, Campbell must receive at least 15 percent of the delegate vote at the Massachusetts Democratic Party Convention in early June. Campbell’s campaign said it is “confident in achieving” that tally.

Campbell, a formal Boston mayoral candidate, has secured major endorsements in the attorney general’s race, including from Massachusetts House Speaker Ron Mariano, former Congressman Joe Kennedy III and U.S. Sen Ed Markey.

During her tour of Gateway Cities across the commonwealth, Campbell has also earned support from Worcester Mayor Joe Petty and Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno.

With the Supreme Court poised to overturn Roe v. Wade, Campbell vowed to educate Massachusetts residents about reproductive and abortion rights enshrined into state law. The next attorney general will play a “critical role” in protesting those rights, Campbell said.

“The other piece, of course, is working to protect providers from criminal and civil liability — following the model in New York and Connecticut, which I know our current AG is doing,” Campbell told MassLive. “And then continuing, of course, to be bold and courageous and standing up for rights here unapologetically. And of course, also expanding the pipeline of providers because more folks will be coming to Massachusetts for critical health services.”

Gov. Charlie Baker and Senate President Karen Spilka have signaled they are exploring other legislative options to protect abortion care, though details remain murky for now. The Senate’s budget proposal includes $2 million for abortion access, compared to $500,000 in the House’s budget.

Uneven access to care, including in Western Massachusetts, must be addressed with future funding streams and policies, Campbell signaled.

“Disparities — whether in communities of color, low-income communities or rural communities — are real,” Campbell said. “There is incredible work for the AG to do to ensure not only we drive down costs in terms of health care and that every community has access to physical, mental and gender-affirming care that is accessible and affordable.”

©2022 Advance Local Media LLC. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.
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