Maura Healey, chief of two prominent bureaus of Attorney General Martha Coakley’s office, announced her candidacy today for the state’s top law enforcement office, promising to carry on its tradition of steady leadership and nation-leading advocacy.
Healey, a 42-year-old lawyer, former prosecutor and lifelong Democrat, is the first candidate to announce she is running to follow Coakley, who is running for Governor. She resigned her position in the AG’s office last week to prepare for her campaign, departing as chief of two bureaus with far reach to all sectors of Massachusetts—Business and Labor as well as Public Protection and Advocacy,
“I’m running for Attorney General to advance our office’s tradition of experienced, professional leadership on our Commonwealth’s critically important legal, regulatory and economic issues,” Healey said. “I’m confident my experience, passion and vision for the office make me the best candidate to ensure the Attorney General’s Office continues to make a positive difference in the lives of Massachusetts residents.”
At the Attorney General’s Office, Healey oversaw the areas of consumer protection, fair labor, ratepayer advocacy, environmental protection, health care, insurance and financial services, civil rights, antitrust, Medicaid fraud, not-for-profit organizations and charities, and business, technology and economic development. She led the Attorney General’s efforts to assist military service-members and veterans in partnership with state and local officials. She also supervised and oversaw implementation of a first–in-the-nation Home Corps program to assist borrowers and families facing foreclosure—which, as of June, had already prevented more than 600 foreclosure auctions in Massachusetts.
In her time as an Assistant Attorney General, Healey was the architect of several groundbreaking cases, including the state’s landmark challenge to the Defense of Marriage Act. She worked hand-in-hand with top national civil rights lawyers in successfully arguing against DOMA, a landmark decision for equal rights.
“Maura Healey brings tremendous skills to the table: Experience, passion, commitment, an eagerness to listen—not just talk— and, more than anything, an incredible sense of justice. I saw firsthand Maura’s single-minded determination to stand up for what is right as she led Attorney General Coakley’s team and helped us take down DOMA,” said Attorney Mary Bonauto, who partnered with Healey on the historic DOMA decision. “Her vision, integrity and hard work have already touched the lives of thousands of people across Massachusetts.”
Healey led first–in-the-nation cases in fair lending and housing, achieved breakthrough settlements to ensure new technologies were accessible to people with disabilities, helped advance legislation and litigation to support access to reproductive health care for women, trained local, state and federal law enforcement on preventing hate crimes and cyber-bullying, and oversaw the Attorney General’s efforts to address bullying and protect children.
“I appreciate and admire Maura’s hard work, knowledge of the law and dedication to ensure access for all Massachusetts citizens,” said Steven Rothstein of the Perkins School for the Blind, referring to Healey’s work on key issues of accessibility for people with disabilities, including the landmark decision by Apple to increase access to its technology for people with vision challenges, in access for online job searches, and in movie theaters. “Residents of the Commonwealth who are blind now have more access to information, recreation and technology due to the Attorney General’s office and Maura’s hard work and leadership.”
Healey said her top priority as Attorney General will be ensuring the office, which impacts every corner of the state and every sector in the economy, makes a positive difference in the lives of Massachusetts residents.
Specifically, Healey said she will focus on protecting consumers from unfair and deceptive practices in lending, insurance, investment and other financial services, addressing escalating health care costs, and enforcing environmental laws to protect our natural resources while addressing concerns over energy costs. She promised to return taxpayer money to the Commonwealth by aggressively prosecuting waste, fraud and abuse and continue to work collaboratively with her partners in law enforcement to make our communities and neighborhoods safe.
Prior to joining the Attorney General’s Office, Healey worked at a prestigious international law firm in Boston as a business and securities litigator and focused her practice on the financial services, technology, biotechnology, and health-care sectors. She was also was a criminal prosecutor in the Middlesex District Attorney’s Office.
Healey grew up the oldest of five brothers and sisters. Her mother is a retired school nurse, her stepfather teaches history and coached high school sports and her father was a captain in the Navy and engineer. Her family roots are in Newburyport and along the North Shore, where her grandfathers worked on Gloucester fishing docks, in a local U.S. Post Office and in the General Electric factory.
From her parents and grandparents, Maura learned the value of hard work, discipline and an education, and, after graduating from public high school, left her small town to attend Harvard College. While there, she majored in government and captained the Harvard basketball team. After two years as a starting point guard for the UBBC Wustenrot Salzburg professional basketball team in Austria, Maura returned to Massachusetts to attend law school at Northeastern University School of Law.
Healey lives in Charlestown with her partner.