Chang-Díaz ends campaign for governor

[Developing] Sen. Sonia Chang-Díaz ended her campaign for governor on Thursday, leaving Attorney General Maura Healey as the only active contender for the Democratic nomination.

Democrats endorsed Healey over Chang-Díaz with 71 percent of the delegate vote at their nominating convention earlier this month, and Healey has also collected a slew of high-profile endorsements including from legislative leaders Senate President Karen Spilka and House Speaker Ron Mariano.

A senator since 2009 and a leading voice in education funding reform efforts, Chang-Díaz opted not to run for reelection to the Senate in order to pursue the office. Her announcement leaves Healey with a clear path ahead of the Sept. 6 primary, after which the attorney general would face the winner of a Republican contest between Chris Doughty and former Rep. Geoff Diehl.

Chang-Díaz is the second woman and candidate of color to depart the Democratic primary for governor, following Danielle Allen.

Chang-Díaz said her name will remain on the ballot but that she will turn her focus to “campaigning and marshaling my supporters and the movement we’ve built” toward a group of down-ballot candidates who she said “walk the walk when it comes to our values.”

Chang-Díaz endorsed a slate of candidates she labeled “Courage Democrats” — House hopefuls Vivian Birchall, Raul Fernandez and Sam Montaño, and district attorney candidates Ricardo Arroyo in Suffolk County and Rahsaan Hall in Plymouth County.

A UMass Lowell poll released Wednesday showed Healey with strong leads over both Republicans — 61 percent to 30 percent against Diehl, and the slightly narrower 58 percent to 30 percent against Doughty.

Healey’s campaign emailed a statement from the candidate after Chang-Díaz announced her intentions.

“I’m deeply grateful to Senator Sonia Chang-Díaz for her many years of service to Massachusetts and her inspired leadership during this campaign,” Healey said. “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.” 

In a statement, Healey said that she’s “deeply grateful to Senator Sonia Chang-Díaz for her many years of service to Massachusetts and her inspired leadership during this campaign. 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.”

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