The president of the Boston branch of the NAACP is running as Massachusetts’ first new secretary of state in nearly three decades.
Tanisha Sullivan, a lawyer and local union leader, promises to bring a fresh perspective to the position that William Galvin has held for 27 years.
“We still have work to do to expand and advance voting rights,” Sullivan said. “There is so much more to do.”
Sullivan, 47, says she would actively engage with residents and small businesses on job creation and affordable housing, “to help address economic inequality and promote economic prosperity.”
Tanisha Sullivan, president of Boston’s National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, reflects on the past year since the murder of George Floyd.
When asked if this all fell under the Secretary of State, Galvin replied, “No. It’s not directly, and it’s actually assigned to other agencies.”
Galvin, 71, led an unprecedented pandemic election that introduced postal voting, resulting in a record number of ballots. He says he pushed for permanent mail-in voting and same-day voter registration, making Massachusetts one of the most progressive voting states in the nation.
“No matter how anyone might try to misrepresent this, it’s a fact,” Galvin said.
Sullivan said she “won’t have to wait for a global public health crisis to see movement.”
Galvin believes his experience, including his success in pushing back against Donald Trump’s false voter fraud allegations, is more important than ever.
He said he would not predict the outcome of the primary, but had reason to be confident after his 2018 primary against Josh Zakim, in which Galvin lost just three of 351 towns and villages in the state.
Sullivan thinks his focus on activism will resonate.
“We can’t keep doing things the way we’ve always done them because it’s not working,” she said.
Rayla Campbell, a Republican from Whitman, is also expected to enter the race.