State Sen. Sonia Chang-Díaz Running for Governor

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State Sen. Sonia Chang-Díaz was the first-ever Latina elected to the Massachusetts state senate. Will she be the first-ever Latina governor? Time will tell.

On Wednesday morning, Chang-Díaz (2nd Suffolk District), who was first elected in 2009, announced she was running for governor in the election slated for 2022. She would not be the first woman to be governor of Massachusetts, but she would be the first woman elected to be governor because Jane Swift became governor after Paul Cellucci became U.S. Ambassador to Canada.

"Too many leaders are more interested in keeping power than in doing something with it," said Chang-Díaz in her announcement video.

She has had a big hand leading important pieces of legislation in Massachusetts in the last several years. She led the charge to pass the Student Opportunity Act, which was signed into law in 2019. It doubled the Commonwealth's investment in achievement gap closure for our lowest-income students, implementing the recommendations of the 2015 bipartisan Foundation Budget Review Commission, which she co-chaired. 

More recently, Chang-Díaz was one of the two senators who led the new police reform legislation from the Senate that Governor Charlie Baker signed into law on New Year's Eve.

In March she urged residents to sign on as co-sponsors to the Vaccine Equity Act, of which she was a lead sponsor.

In the video, she highlighted how her family's life accomplishments inspired her. Her grandfather was a rural doctor in Montana, her mom was a social worker in Massachusetts, and her father came from Costa Rica with only $50 in his pocket. He would go on to become NASA's first Latino astronaut.

"If America can send a poor kid from Costa Rica to space, surely Massachusetts can green our infrastructure and close the racial wealth divide," she said.

She is now the third Democratic Party candidate for governor, joining former state Sen. Ben Downing and Harvard Professor Danielle Allen.