Democrat Andrea Campbell becomes first Black woman to serve as Massachusetts attorney general

Democrat Andrea Campbell was sworn in Wednesday as the first Black woman to serve as Massachusetts attorney general.

Campbell, 40, took her oath of office at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center surrounded by family and supporters.

As she did during her campaign, Campbell did not shy away from her life story, including her father being sent to prison for eight years and her twin brother Andre Campbell dying in police custody. A second brother is in custody facing rape charges.

“There are some who want us to feel shame in our stories or even try to weaponize them against us,” she said. She then quoted a Bible passage saying “no weapon formed against me shall prosper.”

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Campbell, who was also the first Black woman to serve as president of the Boston City Council, ran through a handful of her priorities.

Campbell said she would work to create economic prosperity and stability for families, prioritize the mental health and well-being of young people and make the office more accessible to all people across the state.

The new attorney general also said she would work to tackle wage theft, protect residents from predatory practices, make sure families have the tools needed to buy or stay in their homes, and punish unfair or discriminatory practices that stand in the way of upward mobility.

The new Massachusetts Attorney General Andrea Campbell is pictured on Nov. 2, 2022, during a campaign rally in Boston. Campbell was sworn in on Jan. 18, 2023, as the first Black woman in the state’s history to serve as attorney general.
(AP Photo/Mary Schwalm, File)

Campbell said one of her first actions will be to form an Elderly Justice Unit to protect older residents against unequal access to health care, deceptive business practices and fraud.

She said she would also create an Office of Gun Safety Enforcement to defend the state’s gun laws and a Reproductive Justice Unit to protect the right to safe and legal abortion and reproductive care.

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Campell said she would also scrutinize the state’s criminal justice system.

“We can take on corruption, and hold those who misuse positions of trust or taxpayer dollars accountable for their actions, including by tackling the lack of transparency and accountability behind our prison walls and in our criminal and juvenile justice systems,” she said.

Campbell was among the four remaining statewide officials elected in November to formally take office Wednesday.

Democrat William Galvin, 72, was sworn in for an eighth term as secretary of state, becoming the longest serving person in the office. He was first sworn into the office in 1995.

Also taking her oath of office was Democratic state Treasurer Deborah Goldberg, 68, who was elected to a third term. Goldberg and Galvin are the only two statewide elected officials who sought reelection.

Democrat Diana DiZoglio, 39, a former state senator elected to serve as state auditor, was also set to be sworn Wednesday.

All of the statewide officers serve four year terms.

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The 2022 election marked the first time that women were elected to five of Massachusetts’ six statewide constitutional offices.

It also marked the first time that a woman and member of the LGBTQ community — former attorney general and Democrat Maura Healey, 51 — was elected governor. Former Democratic Salem Mayor Kim Discoll, 56, was elected lieutenant governor.

Former Gov. Charlie Baker and Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito — both Republicans — opted not to seek reelection to a third term.