SEN. SONIA-CHANGE DIAZ said she is discontinuing her campaign for the Democratic nomination for governor but keeping her name on the ballot while campaigning for other candidates who share her progressive ideals.
The unusual political move is a recognition of the big lead of her Democratic rival, Attorney General Maura Healey, and her chances for victory in September.
“I have looked at the numbers every which way and, unfortunately, there is no path that I can responsibly in good faith lead my supporters on which results in me becoming governor this year,” Chang-Diaz said at a press conference in Jamaica Plain on Thursday. “That does not mean there is no path to victory for this movement.”
Most candidates who drop out of a race throw their support to another candidate or just step away from politics.
Chang-Diaz doesn’t intend to do that. She said she will spend her time campaigning for what she called “courage candidates,” those with progressive ideals willing to take on tough fights against the status quo.
Her five initial courage candidates are state rep candidates Raul Hernandez, Vivian Birchall, and Sam Montaño, and district attorney candidates Ricardo Arroyo and Rahsaan Hall.
“Over my time on Beacon Hill, I have seen too many politicians prioritize building up their own personal image over the good of the movement. I never want to be that person,” the Jamaica Plain Democrat said.
Even though she won’t be campaigning for governor, Chang-Diaz said she is keeping her name on the primary ballot and intends to vote for herself as the best candidate in the race and the first person of color to make it on to the ballot for governor.
She said she would be interested in debating Healey. “If the AG is game for that, so am I,” she said.
Chang-Diaz said she intends to fully support the Democratic nominee in November.
Healey issued a statement thanking Chang-Diaz for her many years of service to Massachusetts. “The legacy of her campaign will live on through the young girls who finally saw themselves represented in a candidate for the highest office in the state. I look forward to continuing to partner with Senator Chang-Díaz to bring people together and make Massachusetts work for all of our families,” she said.