William Galvin wins Democratic nomination for Secretary of State


Galvin has held this position since 1995.

Secretary of State William F. Galvin and Tanisha Sullivan are running for the Democratic nomination to be the state’s top election official. globe file

William Galvin won the Democratic nomination for secretary of state in the 2022 primary as he seeks his eighth term, 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 election signified whether Democrats in Massachusetts want an established nominee — or a break from tradition.

The Secretary of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts is the state’s top election official and is also responsible for state records such as census counts, deeds, business registration, and historical and public records. The position is seen as primarily administrative in nature, but this election has sparked a conversation about whether and how the office should evolve.

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

Sullivan worked with much smaller resources — she had just over $160,000 at the start of August, according to the World — but his message as a civil rights leader resonated with progressive voters. Sullivan won the support of the Massachusetts Democratic Party at the state convention in June, as well as the endorsement of politicians like Representative Ayanna Presley.

The candidates quarreled in two heated 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 it “anti-abortion” during an August 8 debate. Galvin has denied those accusations, pointing to reproductive rights legislation he signed in response.

Galvin is set to face unopposed Republican Rayla Campbell, who made history as the first black woman to contest the Massachusetts state ballot as a candidate for secretary of state.


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