Leah Cole Allen Weighs In On Bid For Lieutenant Governor of Massachusetts

Printed from: https://newbostonpost.com/2022/06/09/leah-cole-allen-weighs-in-on-bid-for-lieutenant-governor-of-massachusetts/

This is familiar territory for Leah Cole Allen.

The 33-year-old is running for office to get back in the Massachusetts State House where she hopes to be working closely with a former colleague of hers.

Allen is not only a Republican candidate for lieutenant governor this year, but she is former state representative Geoff Diehl’s preferred running mate. The two have been campaigning together in hopes of winning the September primary and appearing on the general election ballot as the GOP ticket this upcoming November.

Both Allen and Diehl (R-Whitman) won the party’s nomination at the Massachusetts Republican Party convention in May, over former state representative Kate Campanale (R-Leicester) and Wrentham businessman Chris Doughty, respectively. But Doughty and Campanale also got enough support from delegates to make the September primary ballot.

That said, Allen says she and Diehl are in good shape.

“I think things are going really well,” Allen told NewBostonPost in a telephone interview earlier this week. “I think that now more than ever our message is resonating with the people of Massachusetts. Look around. The inflation, the cost of gas, what’s going on in our schools, coming out of the pandemic with all of the restrictions enacted, people losing their jobs over the vaccine mandate, I think people are really tired of the government telling them what to do. I think people want a sense of normalcy back in their lives.”

“It’s what I saw transpire over the past few years that made me want to get involved again,” she added. “People are struggling to afford $5 per gallon for gas and they feel like they’ve been shut out of decisions of what’s going on in their children’s schools and even decisions about their own health care. I think it takes a perspective of someone who was kind of just an ordinary person with the bonus of having legislative experience in the past.”

The Danvers resident represented much of Peabody (the 12th Essex District) in the Massachusetts House of Representatives from 2013 to 2015. During her tenure, she was a colleague with Diehl, who represented the Seventh Plymouth District from 2011 to 2019. She resigned from the post in 2015 to take a job as a nurse.

However, Allen was forced to resign from her position as a nurse at Beverly Hospital earlier this year because of the hospital’s coronavirus vaccine mandate. 

She noted that she was a front line worker on the coronavirus floor of the hospital before the vaccine came out.

As for leaving …

“There was nothing voluntary about it. It was the government forcing me out of my job because I didn’t make a health care decision they wanted me to,” Allen said.

Allen said she feels empathy for state employees who lost their jobs because of coronavirus vaccine mandates from their employers — which includes the head of the state’s executive branch, Governor Charlie Baker. 

“My heart broke for all of the state workers, including state troopers, that went through what I went through, so if there’s anything we can do to get them their jobs back, we want to be a part of that,” she said. 

“I want government to protect my rights, not trample on them.”

While the pandemic and current political problems the state faces inspired Allen to get back into electoral politics, she says that her experience in the legislature, as well as Diehl’s experience, would be an asset in the State House. 

“We’re familiar with the lawmaking process and how business runs up here,” Allen said. “We’re also familiar with the power structure that goes on up there. That’s why the people of Massachusetts deserve a team in the corner office that will fight for them and not just go along with the status quo; we won’t just go along with some of the aggressive policies that will harm the people of Massachusetts.”

When asked what it was like to work with Diehl in the state legislature, Allen said that he had many admirable qualities.

“I always thought he was really brave because he was willing to put himself out there no matter the personal cost to him,” Allen said. “It’s not easy. The culture on Beacon Hill is one that is go along to get along and they make it very known that they want nothing to do with you if you don’t. I thought there was a lot of integrity in what he did. He has a proven track record of fighting for the people and doing the right thing.”

The Diehl-Allen ticket considers itself to be pro-life. However, Allen said that she thinks it would be difficult to get legislative wins on the issue in this state.

“The electorate in Massachusetts heavily favors the pro-choice side and it’s been codified into law, so I’m not sure what we could do to change that, but we would seek to protect life where we could,” Allen said. “I think as far as late-term abortions, we would be totally against that.”

In the Republican primary, Diehl and Allen are running against another ticket:  Wrentham businessman Chris Doughty and former state representative Kate Campanale (R-Leicester). The winners of that primary will move on to face a Democratic ticket in the general election.

The Democrats running for governor are state Senator Sonia Chang-Diaz (D-Jamaica Plain) and attorney general Maura Healey. The three Democrats running for lieutenant governor are Salem mayor Kim Driscoll, state representative Tami Gouveia (D-Acton), and state Senator Eric Lesser (D-Longmeadow).

More information on Allen’s campaign is available at www.leahcoleallen.com


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