Attorney General Maura Healey’s historic victory last fall as the first woman and open lesbian to be elected governor of Massachusetts paved the way for Democrats to gain full control of Beacon Hill for only the second time in 30 years. In response to this, Healey has made one of her first major moves by shaking up the leadership. In a statement, she thanked outgoing party chair Gus Bickford for his service, noting that under his tenure Democrats flipped 19 seats, including more than a dozen in the Legislature and three law enforcement seats held by Republicans on Cape Cod and the South Coast.
Bickford is ready to step aside, saying that after finally electing a woman as governor, he has other options and it is time to move on. However, his term does not expire until November 2024. An internal review found that Bickford violated party bylaws by getting involved in the 2020 primary between Rep. Richard Neal and then-Holyoke Mayor Alex Morse, an action which resulted in a scathing report.
Healey has expressed her support for Steve Kerrigan, who is expected to be elected treasurer at the party’s next meeting and then chair. He is currently the president and CEO of the Edward M. Kennedy Community Health Center, and intends to keep this job while serving as chair. Kerrigan praised Bickford for his decades of service and said he looks forward to working with both Healey and the outgoing chair to advance Democratic causes and candidates.