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Maura Healey pushes regional equity in Berkshire County

Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey chats with supporters during a campaign stop in North Adams. The Democrat is running for governor this year.
Adam Frenier
/
NEPM
Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey chats with supporters during a campaign stop in North Adams. The Democrat is running for governor this year.

Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey said she will make sure Berkshire County gets its fair share if she becomes governor. She made that comment during a campaign stop in North Adams Thursday

Healey, a Democrat, touted her relationships with the Berkshire legislative delegation. Her campaign later announced all four state representatives and the region’s lone state senator, Adam Hinds, all gave her endorsements. She also pointed to a grant program at the high school in North Adams, as well as a summer jobs program, both funded by her office.

Healey told reporters the best fashion to show her commitment to the county furthest from Boston is by showing up.

"The way I think people will understand and believe in me, is my presence," Healey said. "It's not just what I say, it's what I've done, my past record and delivering on what I say I'm going to do, and making sure government is here, on the ground."

The event was held on a covered patio of a downtown North Adams restaurant on a hot Thursday morning. Healey took her time shaking hands and taking pictures with supporters that turned out to greet her.

The attorney general also carried herself as the front-runner in the gubernatorial race. She stuck to talking points and kept the focus on her priorities and encouraged her supporters to help with her campaign. She shrugged off a question about the lieutenant governor’s primary, instead saying she is only focused on her campaign.

Healey expressed her support for an expanded passenger rail service between the western part of the state and Boston, adding that regional transit authorities operating local bus services also need attention. She also focused in on the need for more housing across Massachusetts at all price levels, while homing in on Berkshire County.

"What we've seen are any number of people come in and purchase second homes," Healey said. "A lot of people moved into this area during COVID, and it's forced prices up and it's forced a lot of people out, and that's a real problem."

Healey is all but assured to move on to November's general election. Democratic rival Sonia Chang-Diaz dropped out of the race but remains on the ballot. Healey’s likely to face the winner of the Republican primary, either Geoff Diehl or Chris Doughty.

With more than $5.3 million on hand in her campaign account as of the end of June, Healey holds a massive fundraising advantage over either of her potential GOP rivals. According to state campaign finance data, Diehl had $109,000 in his campaign account, and Doughty $1.5 million — much of it his own money.

Adam joined NEPM as a freelance reporter and fill-in operations assistant during the summer of 2011. For more than 15 years, Adam has had a number stops throughout his broadcast career, including as a news reporter and anchor, sports host and play-by-play announcer as well as a producer and technician.
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