BOSTON (AP) — State Sen. Sonia Chang-Diaz, a critic of Republican Gov. Charlie Baker’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic, is weighing a bid for Massachusetts governor next year.
In a written statement Monday, the Boston Democrat said the state needs “someone who’ll run toward problems, not away from them.”
“That’s why I’m seriously considering running for governor,” she said.
Chang-Diaz, the first Latina to win a seat in the Massachusetts Senate, was elected in 2008. She is currently Senate chair of two joint committees with the House: the Joint Committee on Racial Equity, Civil Rights and Inclusion; and the Joint Committee on Cannabis Policy.
“Families across Massachusetts are struggling to make rent, stay safe, and give their kids a brighter future. The crises now boiling over in our state — economic, public health, and racial justice — make it absolutely clear we need someone in the corner office who feels the same urgency working people do,” she said in the statement.
Chang-Diaz has faulted Baker’s handling of the COVID-19 crisis, saying there are strategies he hasn’t tried to reach out to minority communities hardest hit by the virus.
“This pandemic has shown the governor not to be the great manager that he convinced Massachusetts he was,” Chang-Diaz told the Associated Press earlier this month.
Baker has yet to say whether he will run for a third term in the 2022 race.
Baker’s popularity, which remained high during the early months of the pandemic, has recently slipped as frustration grows over the state's rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine.
Former Massachusetts state Sen. Ben Downing last month became the first Democrat to formally announce a run for governor in 2022.
Democratic Attorney General Maura Healey is also seen as a possible candidate.