Sonia Chang-Díaz weighing run for governor

Hugo Balta

“Families across Massachusetts are struggling to make rent, stay safe, and give their kids a brighter future,” State Sen. Sonia Chang-Diaz said in a written statement. “The crises now boiling over in our state–economic, public health, and racial justice–make it absolutely clear we need someone in the corner office who feels the same urgency working people do. Someone who’ll run toward problems, not away from them. That’s why I’m seriously considering running for governor.”

Sen. Chang-Diaz, a Democrat, has been critical of Republican Governor Charlie Baker’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic. “This pandemic has shown the governor not to be the great manager that he convinced Massachusetts he was,” Chang-Diaz told the Associated Press earlier this month.

Last month she filed the Vaccine Equity Bill arguing Baker’s vaccine rollout has fallen short of vaccinating Hispanic-Latino, and other marginalized communities compared with white residents.

After the killing of George Floyd last year, she led the effort in crafting a sweeping police reform bill signed into law that banned shooting at fleeing vehicles, required police credentials, and limited qualified immunity among all public employees.

Chang-Diaz is the first Latina to win a seat in the Massachusetts Senate; elected in 2008. She is currently Senate Chair of the Joint Committee on Racial Equity, Civil Rights and Inclusion; and the Joint Committee on Cannabis Policy.

Chang-Díaz joins a growing candidate field that includes former state Sen. Ben Downing, Attorney General Maura Healey, Scott Donohue, a Melrose resident, and Orlando Silva, a Shrewsbury resident who runs an air duct cleaning company.

Gov. Baker has not said whether he will seek a third term.