Maura Healey, who has served as the state's attorney general since 2014, officially announced her campaign for governor of Massachusetts on Thursday.
“I’ve stood with you as the People’s Lawyer, and now I’m running to be your Governor,” Healey said in a video announcing her candidacy. “To bring us together and come back stronger than ever.”
The Democrat also spoke at a campaign stop in East Boston on Thursday morning, stressing that job one will be getting the state's economy back on track.
"I wanted to be here today because I am proud to announce that I'm running to be governor of Massachusetts," she said.
"I think about where we are right now as a state. We have been through a lot, our people have been through a lot, our children have been through a lot -- a lot of anxiety, a lot of despair and some incredible hardship," she added. "But I have seen over the last two years such incredible acts of resilience, of caring, of compassion... We're in a hard time now, but we're going to get through it. That's what excites me and that's what I want to bring to this as your next governor."
Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker, a Republican, decided not to seek a third term in office. That has made Democrats increasingly optimistic about their chances in November. Two Democrats are already in the race, but many in the party have been waiting anxiously to see what Healey would do.
Healey, 50, became the first woman and openly gay person elected attorney general in 2014.
Her campaign will center around the economy, making child care more affordable, modernizing schools and addressing the climate crisis, her team announced.
"We'll continue with what's working and fix what's not," Healey said.
A native of Hampton Falls, New Hampshire, Healey played basketball at Harvard and later professionally in Austria before earning her law degree from Northeastern University. She lives in Boston.
Prior to her time as attorney general, she was a civil rights attorney in the attorney general's office.
The two-term attorney general made a name for herself during former President Donald Trump's years in the White House as one of many Democratic prosecutors across the country who filed dozens of lawsuits against the Republican administration over the enforcement of everything from environmental regulations and to immigration policy.
As attorney general, Healey has also fought to protect abortion rights around the country, sued opioid manufacturer Purdue Pharma and took on student loan companies that she thought were taking advantage of borrowers.
NBC10 Boston political reporter Alison King reported that Healey has a $3.7 million war chest for her campaign, which is expected to make her a formidable candidate.
The Democratic field for governor currently includes Boston Sen. Sonia Chang-Diaz and Harvard professor Danielle Allen, but neither has the name recognition as Healey. Former state Sen. Ben Downing also campaigned for much of the past year, but dropped out in December citing a lack of financial resources.
Republican Geoff Diehl is also running.
State House News Service contributed to this report.