‘Never a single person’: Chang-Díaz says she’s ending campaign to back downvote candidates

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There is one less candidate in the race for governor of Massachusetts.

Democratic State Senator Sonia Chang-Díaz ended her campaign, saying she saw no viable path.

Chang-Díaz was campaigning as a progressive alternative to state attorney general Maura Healey. Although her name will still be on the ballot, Chang-Díaz said she will instead focus on progressive candidates who run for the ballot.

She joined host Deborah Becker on WBUR morning edition discuss.

The highlights of this interview have been lightly edited for clarity.

Interview Highlights

On what made her stop campaigning

Well, so there wasn’t just one factor. But the most limited resource of any campaign is time. And as we look at the calendar and see that there are two and a half months left until primary day, it is one of the responsibilities of leadership to make tough decisions about how you use limited resources to achieve your goals. And the goals of this campaign were never about one person or the governor’s seat for the governor’s seat. This campaign, for me and my supporters, was always about injecting more courage and urgency into our state politics, driving a progressive political agenda, increasing the power of communities of color.

And we could’ve called some Hail Mary pass here to bridge the gap between me and the attorney general [Maura Healey] in those 10 weeks. Or we can use this energy in the service of fantastic candidates for the decline who will also be great standard bearers for courage in politics. And I think that’s the most responsible choice.”

On whether staying longer in the race would have advanced his progressive agenda

You know, it’s a competition between those choices. And you’re right. This is one of the factors that I took into account. We have been very successful in this race to generate commitments and consensus on some key issues such as climate action and public safety policy regarding immigrants in Massachusetts, housing stabilization, universal child care and preschool education. But we need to make sure that people are in place to keep the press on these issues and beyond these issues. And that’s why I’m highlighting these candidates, these downvote candidates, because they’ll be part of this infrastructure that drives accountability on these issues for years to come.”

Campaigning in a state that has had a moderate Republican governor in the past 8 years

Everywhere I went – north, south, east, west, small towns, big cities – I heard a universal, essentially, deep-seated concern about the state’s housing crisis, student loan debt, unavailability and the kind of reliability of our child care system, on health care costs. People are really hungry for more urgent change – change on a larger scale or at a more urgent rate of change – on these issues.

And I think what has driven so many voters over the last three decades, honestly, to vote for Republicans in the corner office is the frustration and the cynicism with Beacon Hill and the desire to have someone ‘one in the corner office who’s going to be independent-minded about the legislative leadership. And that’s what this campaign was about. And I found in the whole state that it really resonated. We didn’t have the time and resources to get this message out to enough people. But when we got it in front of people, it resonated deeply. 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 candidate who comes out of this race. And I think we can all correctly calculate that it will be the Attorney General. But we have primaries for a reason, and I really believe in that. There are important ideas and there are important differences between us on the issues.

My name remains on the ballot. We have worked hard. It was a historic first to have the state’s first woman of color on the ballot for governor. And, while I won’t be actively campaigning for governor myself, I still believe I would make the best governor. And I’m going to vote for me when I vote in this primary. And I’m not shy about saying it.”

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