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Andrea Campbell sworn in as Massachusetts attorney general

Andrea Campbell, incoming Attorney General, waves to attendees of the Massachusetts Democratic Party's election night gathering inside the Copley Hotel on Nov. 8, 2022. (Erin Clark/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
Andrea Campbell, incoming Attorney General, waves to attendees of the Massachusetts Democratic Party's election night gathering inside the Copley Hotel on Nov. 8, 2022. (Erin Clark/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)

Andrea Campbell made history Wednesday, becoming the first Black woman sworn to serve as the state’s top law enforcement official. She’s also the first Black woman ever elected to statewide office in Massachusetts.

During a ceremony at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center, Campbell officially become the 45th attorney general of the commonwealth. In her campaign, she said she has the right combination of professional and personal experience to serve in the position.

The 40-year-old is a former Boston city councilor and mother of two children. She was the first Black woman to serve as the council’s president and unsuccessfully ran for mayor in 2021.

Campbell attended Boston Latin School, Princeton University and UCLA Law School. She worked as deputy legal counsel to former Gov. Deval Patrick.

Campbell has often publicly spoken about traumatic events that she said shaped her life while growing up in Roxbury and the South End.

When she was an infant, her now-deceased father was sentenced to prison for eight years. Her mother died in a car accident on her way to visit him in prison. Campbell and her siblings spent most of their childhood in foster care or living with relatives. Her twin brother died 10 years ago while in the custody of the state Department of Correction. Her older brother, Alvin Campbell Jr., is in custody facing rape charges.

“My faith has allowed me to turn significant pain into purpose,” Campbell said during her election victory speech.

During the campaign, Campbell said she would “look at every issue through an equity lens.” She promised to reform the criminal legal system and to help expand economic opportunities for all Massachusetts residents.

After winning the November election, Campbell said her priorities included targeting wage theft, defending seniors and pushing for what she called “common-sense gun laws.” She also promised to work to reform prisons and the juvenile justice system.

“For those who have felt unseen this victory is for you,” Campbell said on election night. “For those who have felt marginalized, this victory is for you. For those who have felt left out, left behind and undervalued, this victory is for you.”

Campbell has appointed Pat Moore as first assistant attorney general. Moore is a former White House attorney and worked as counsel for Massachusetts Govs. Deval Patrick and Charlie Baker.

This article was originally published on WBUR.org.

Copyright 2023 WBUR. To see more, visit WBUR.

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