Boston NAACP Leader Tanisha Sullivan Challenges Sec. of State William Galvin

Tanisha Sullivan, president of the Boston Branch of the NAACP, is running against incumbent William Galvin to become Massachusetts' first new secretary of state in 27 years

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The president of the Boston Branch of the NAACP is running to be Massachusetts' first new secretary of state in nearly three decades.

Tanisha Sullivan, an attorney and the local chapter's leader, is promising to bring a fresh perspective to the job, which has been held by William Galvin for 27 years.

"We've got more work to do to expand and advance voting rights," Sullivan said. "There is so much more that can be done."

Sullivan, 47, says she would be actively engaged with residents and small businesses on job creation and affordable housing, "to help tackle economic inequality and promote economic prosperity."

Tanisha Sullivan, President of Boston's National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, reflects on the last year since George Floyd's murder.

Asked if all of that falls under the secretary of state's umbrella, Galvin replied, "No. It's not directly, and it's, in fact, assigned to other agencies."

Galvin, 71, has led through an unprecedented pandemic election that introduced mail-in voting, resulting in record numbers of ballots cast. He says he has pushed for permanent mail-in balloting and same-day voter registration, making Massachusetts one of the most progressive voting states in the country.

"No matter how somebody might try to provide misinformation about that, it is a fact," Galvin said.

Sullivan said that she "will not have to wait for a global public health crisis to see movement."

Galvin believes his experience, including his success pushing back on Donald Trump's false claims of voter fraud, is more important than ever.

He said he will not predict the results of the primary, but that he has some cause for confidence after his 2018 primary against Josh Zakim, in which Galvin lost only three of the state's 351 cities and towns.

Sullivan thinks her focus on activism will resonate.

"We cannot continue to do things the way we've always done them, because it's not working," she said.

Rayla Campbell, a Republican from Whitman, is also expected to get into the race.

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