Harvard University professor Danielle Allen plans to announce her official bid for governor on Tuesday, making her the first Black woman to seek the state's top office as a major party candidate, her campaign confirmed to the State House News Service.
Allen, a Democrat who serves as director of the Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics, would be the second declared candidate in the race. Former Sen. Ben Downing, a Democrat, announced his campaign in February. Sen. Sonia Chang-Diaz announced in March that she's also exploring a bid for governor.
"For me, it's really time to put not just the policy side, but also the implementation side, together," Allen said.
Allen has been exploring a possible candidacy and already has a fairly hefty campaign account, with over $283,000 cash on hand as of the start of June, ahead of Downing's just over $111,000 cash on hand as of June 4.
In an interview with NBC10 Boston, Allen addressed the historic element of her campaign.
"One feels the great sense of responsibility, but also a sense of sadness that it shouldn't have taken us 250 years to get to a point where this is possible," she said.
The Boston Globe first reported the news Sunday evening.
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Once a conservative — her father was a Republican candidate for U.S. senator in California — Allen found herself more in line with Democrats on issues like abortion and income inequality.
"Partly, that was about really robust argument and debate with peers and really understanding other peoples perspectives," she said.
Gov. Charlie Baker hasn't said whether he will seek a third term in 2022. When asked about running again at the end of May, he said plans to discuss the issue with his family. "That's something the lieutenant governor and I and our families are going to talk about, but we've been really focused on this," the Republican governor said after returning from a trip where he attended Republican Governors Association meetings.
Despite high approval ratings, Allen says she does not believe Baker is getting the job done when it comes to issues like housing, transportation, education, employment and justice.
"Honestly, I kind of think it's an example of grade inflation," she said. "I think we've let our standards fall. Our expectations are too low."