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    Healey takes campaign to the South Coast, snags endorsements


    May 13, 2022 - Samantha J. Gross

     

      FALL RIVER — Attorney General Maura Healey hit the campaign trail here Thursday, visiting a slice of the waterfront to announce endorsements from South Coast elected officials and talk up her pitch to boost public transportation, expand the offshore wind industry, and support community greenspaces.

      “Fall River and other places have not gotten the support and attention that they so deserve. This is a place of tremendous opportunity,” she said. The front-running gubernatorial candidate talked up the city’s prospects with soon-to-be upgraded road designs, rail expansions under way, and a planned offshore wind farm to be anchored in the city and built 30 miles south of Martha’s Vineyard.

      But as with much of her bid for governor, Healey was light on some details Thursday.

      While the Democrat has said she will aim to double the state’s current offshore wind procurement by 2035, she declined to say if she would support any of the proposals put forward by the House, Senate, or governor.

      “All of that is going to get worked out,” Healey said of the legislative process. “I am going to continue to stay in communication, to stay engaged . . . there is a lot of work we need to do. I am confident we will get there.”

      Asked by a reporter what she would do differently as governor to mitigate the safety issues that have plagued the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority and triggered a rare federal investigation into the troubled system, Healey took a pass on getting into the specifics.

      “The key is you want to see what actually comes out of a study and a report and be driven by that,” she said. “My office is already in touch with others about this issue. I will commit to doing anything and everything to assure the public of the safety and reliability and viability. These are about investments.”

      According to Healey’s recently released climate platform, her administration will aim to double the Commonwealth’s offshore wind by 2035 by increasing offshore wind procurements and leveraging relationships to buy the power directly from the producers.

      She also promised in her climate plan to increase investments in port infrastructure to bolster the state’s role in offshore wind development.

      Fall River and New Bedford are the anchors of Mayflower Wind, a proposed offshore wind farm partially owned by Shell.

      “I am a big believer in making sure that communities like New Bedford and Fall River be the first to benefit from what is going to be an incredible industry for our state and for our region,” she said Thursday.

      Healey was endorsed by Fall River Mayor Paul Coogan as well as state Representatives Carole A. Fiola, Patricia A. Haddad, Paul A. Schmid III, and Alan Silvia.

      The South End Democrat is weeks away from the Massachusetts Democrats’ convention, and she is leading her opponent, state Senator Sonia Chang-Díaz, by notably wide margins.

      Healey had $4.9 million in the bank at the end of last month to Chang-Díaz’s $353,000, and a recent poll found that Healey led the Jamaica Plain senator by 45 percentage points.

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