Massachusetts Republican primary voters on Tuesday chose former state Rep. Geoff Diehl as their gubernatorial nominee over Chris Doughty, a more moderate businessman. Diehl, who campaigned on his backing from former President Donald Trump, is considered the underdog against state Attorney General Maura Healey, the Democratic nominee. Healey, if she wins, will be the first woman and openly gay person elected governor in Massachusetts.
"Massachusetts has a history of electing fiscally conservative, socially moderate Republican governors — including former Govs. William Weld and Mitt Romney," as well as outgoing Gov. Charlie Baker (R), The Associated Press reports. Doughty was running in the same mold, but Republican primary voters opted to make Massachusetts "the latest blue state this midterm season to nominate a Trump loyalist," joining Maryland and Illinois.
Diehl said last year he didn't think 2020 was a "stolen election" but now echoes Trump's false claim the election was "rigged." Trump, in a tele-rally for Diehl on Monday night, called his chosen candidate "a proven fighter" who would "rule your state with an iron fist."
Healey, who ran virtually unopposed after her primary opponent dropped out of the race, "does face an oddball hurdle in Massachusetts — the so-called curse of the attorney general," AP notes. "Since 1958, six former Massachusetts attorneys general have sought the governor's office. All failed." But she is favored to beat Diehl, who lost to Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D) by 24 percentage points in the 2018 Senate race, in a state that President Biden won by 33 points, The Washington Post notes.
None of the nine incumbent congressional Democrats faced primary challengers, and most of the GOP House primaries only had one candidate. In the competitive race to replace Healey as attorney general, Democrats chose Andrea Campbell, the first Black woman to be president of the Boston City Council, over labor lawyer Shannon Lisa-Riordan. Campbell will face Republican trial attorney Jay McMahon.