AG Maura Healey will be the next Democratic nominee and that would likely have been true whether or not Sen. Sonia Chang-Diaz ran against her, but I am still going to vote for her this primary for a few reasons.
1) Share our Future
Sonia Chang Diaz was instrumental in getting this education funding equity bill to the governors desk and ensuring the final product that was signed did as much as possible to mitigate the funding challenges inner city and rural schools faced compared to well financed suburban districts.
The new brand new building my high school is set to occupy in a few years and the additional support for IEP and ELL students we have already begun to hire are living proof that this bill will change lives. She deserves the credit and the support of teachers across the Commonwealth.
Sonia Chang Diaz challenged a corrupt Democrat backed by the Democratic establishment (including then Gov. Patrick) and beat her. She then spent the next decade and a half on Beacon Hill challenging the leadership of her own party to be bolder on education, transit, and housing. She had the courage to take on Baker before he announced he was not running again.
3) A Choice, not a Coronation
I like Healey a lot and was originally planning on voting for her, but I cannot help but think she would have been a stronger general election candidate had the two strong smart black women who ran against her been able to compete for fundraising and air time on an equal basis and debate her and challenge her on the issues. The nomination process and realities of modern campaign finance continue to shut out candidates who do not look, sound, or act like the establishment. They continue to shut out those who cannot self fund as Deval Patrick and admittedly my former employer Evan Falchuk was able to do. They continue to shut out those who lack a built in profile like Elizabeth Warren or Ayanna Pressley. We need workhorses and wonks just as much if not more than we need charismatic political celebrities. People willing to do the work to play the long game.
So Sonia will get my primary vote with pride. And I hope others join me to send a signal to Maura Healey that these are issues and voters she must not and cannot take for granted in the fall. Being “not Diehl” will land about as poorly as being “not Brown” did for Martha Coakley or being “not Trump” did for Hillary Clinton. I have my reasons to vote for Sonia and I expect to have good reasons to vote for Healey in the fall.