William Galvin wins Democratic nomination for secretary of state

William Galvin wins Democratic nomination for secretary of state

Galvin has held the position since 1995.


Massachusetts Secretary of the Commonwealth William Galvin speaks to the Annual Greater Boston Labor Council Breakfast on Monday, Labor Day, Sept. 5, 2022, at the Park Plaza Hotel in Boston. AP Photo/Josh Reynolds


William Galvin won the Democratic nomination for secretary of state in 2022 primary as he vies for his eighth term in office, AP reported.

Longtime secretary of state Galvin, 71, faced a primary challenge from Tanisha Sullivan, 48, a lawyer and president of the Boston branch of the NAACP. Sullivan has never held political office. The political decision connoted whether Massachusetts Democrats needed a laid out competitor — or a break from custom.

Galvin garnered 72% of the vote, with 54% of the vote reported. Sullivan, with 28%, conceded shortly after.

Ridiculous': Massachusetts Secretary of State William Galvin pans President  Donald Trump's tweet suggesting election delay - masslive.com

“It’s a testament to the importance that voters see in elections administration,” Galvin said in a phone interview with The Boston Globe Tuesday night. “It’s also a challenge for the future. I have to make this term better than all the others, and I intend to. There’s so much more at stake.”

The Massachusetts Secretary of the Commonwealth is the state’s top election official and is also responsible for state documents such as census counts, deeds, business enlistment, and authentic and openly available reports. The position is seen as fundamentally managerial in nature, yet this political decision has provoked discussion about if and how the workplace ought to advance.

Sullivan’s campaign primarily focused on using the position’s power to fight for social issues, while Galvin’s centered around his years of experience in facilitating elections. That very experience has been a major selling point for Galvin — a recent poll cited by The Boston Globe showed that Galvin has 66 percent name recognition among Massachusetts voters, and garnered over $2 million for his campaign. 

Sullivan worked off significantly more modest assets — she had quite recently more than $160,000 toward the beginning of August, as per the Globe — yet her message as a social equality pioneer resounded with moderate electors. Sullivan acquired the help of the Massachusetts DemocraticParty at the state convention in June, as well as endorsements from politicians like Rep. Ayanna Presley.

“Our campaign may be ending today, but our work to protect our democracy — to strengthen our communities — continues,” Sullivan said in a concession statement to Boston.com. “I’m grateful for the opportunity to share our vision, and keeping in mind that we came up short tonight, we stood tall on issues that matter. Together, we assisted electors with figuring out this office and showed what is conceivable with proactive initiative in this office, and our work continues.”

The candidates sparred in two fiery debates, with Galvin criticizing Sullivan’s lack of experience while Sullivan attacked Galvin on his record as secretary.

Notably, Sullivan criticized Galvin’s stance on reproductive rights, calling him “anti-abortion” in an Aug. 8 debate. Galvin denied these accusations, pointing to reproductive rights legislation he signed into law in response.

Galvin is set to face unopposed Republican Rayla Campbell, who has made history as the first Black woman to make Massachusetts’ statewide ballot as a candidate for secretary of state.


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