'Never just about one person': Chang-Díaz says she's ending campaign to support down-ballot candidates

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Sonia Chang-Diaz announces she will no longer campaign for Governor of Massachusetts at a press conference in Jamaica Plain. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)
Sonia Chang-Diaz announces she will no longer campaign for Governor of Massachusetts at a press conference in Jamaica Plain. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)

There's one fewer candidate in the race for Massachusetts governor.

Democratic State Sen. Sonia Chang-Díaz has ended her campaign, saying she did not see a viable path forward.

Chang-Díaz was campaigning as a progressive alternative to state Attorney General Maura Healey. While her name will still appear on the ballot, Chang-Díaz said she'll focus instead on progressive candidates running down-ballot.

She joined host Deborah Becker on WBUR's Morning Edition to discuss.

Highlights from this interview have been lightly edited for clarity.

Interview Highlights

On what led her to stop campaigning

"Well, so there was no one factor. But the single most limited resource on any campaign is time. And as we look at the calendar and see that there's two and a half months left to primary day, it is one of the responsibilities of leadership to make difficult decisions about how you use limited resources in order to achieve your goals. And the goals of this campaign were never just about one person or about the governor's seat for the sake of the governor's seat. This campaign, for me and for my supporters, was always about injecting more courage and urgency into our state politics, about driving a progressive policy agenda, about growing power for communities of color.

And we could have called some Hail Mary passes here to close the gap between myself and Attorney General [Maura Healey] in these 10 weeks. Or we can use that energy in the service of some fantastic down-ballot candidates who are also going to be great standard bearers for courage over politics. And I think that's the more responsible choice."

On whether staying in the race longer would have furthered her progressive agenda

"You know, it is a competition among those choices. And you're right. That's one of the factors that I considered. We've been very successful in this race in driving commitments and consensus on some key issues like climate action and public safety policy with respect to immigrants in Massachusetts, on housing stabilization, on universal child care and early education. But we need to make sure that people are in place who are going to keep the press on for those issues and beyond those issues. And that's why I'm highlighting these candidates, these down-ballot candidates, because they are going to be a part of that infrastructure that drives accountability on those issues over the years to come."

On campaigning in a state that's had a moderate Republican governor for the past 8 years

"Everywhere I went — north, south, east, west, small towns, large cities — I heard a universal, essentially, and deep concern about the housing crisis in the state, about the student loan debt, about the unavailability and sort of dependability of our child care system, about health care costs. People are really hungry for more urgent change — larger scale change or a more urgent pace of change — on these issues.

And I think that what has driven so many voters over the past three decades, honestly, to vote for Republicans in the corner office is the frustration and the cynicism with Beacon Hill and a desire to have somebody in the corner office who is going to be independent-minded relative to legislative leadership. And that is what this campaign was offering. And I found all over the state that it truly resonated. We did not have the time and resources to get that message in front of enough people. But when we did get it in front of people, it was deeply resonant. No question."

On whether she'll endorse Healey for governor

"What I said at the press conference is that I will, of course, support the Democratic nominee that comes out of this race. And I think we can all do the math right that that's going to be the attorney general. But we have primaries for a reason, and I really believe in that. There's important ideas and there's important differences between us on the issues.

My name remains on the ballot. We worked hard. It was an historic first to get the first woman of color in the state ever on the ballot for governor. And, although I am not going to be actively campaigning for myself for governor, I do still believe that I would make the best governor. And I'm going to vote for myself when I cast my ballot in this primary. And I'm unabashed about saying that."

This segment aired on June 24, 2022.


Deborah Becker Host/Reporter
Deborah Becker is a senior correspondent and host at WBUR. Her reporting focuses on mental health, criminal justice and education.


David Greene Senior News Editor
David Greene is WBUR's Senior News Editor.



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