Around New England

Bill Galvin Challenger Targets Pro-Life Lobbyists In Massachusetts Secretary of State’s Race

August 13, 2022

A left-wing challenger to Bill Galvin says she’d “activate” all aspects of the Massachusetts Secretary of State’s office to promote abortion.

“Some have asked, what does the secretary of state have to do with abortion rights? And isn’t this an office that’s just about administering elections?” Tanisha Sullivan said during a press conference Thursday, August 11, according to State House News Service. “… This office has significant powers and authority when it comes to regulating corporations and securities, the disclosure of public records, and those who lobby our state government, among others. And we need to activate all of those divisions today, with the power that exists within those divisions today, to ensure that we are not only protecting access to abortion care but that we are protecting reproductive justice and freedom.”

Sullivan, 48, of Hyde Park, is the president of the Boston branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. She is challenging Galvin in the Democratic primary for Secretary of State, a job Galvin has held since 1995.

Galvin, 71, of Brighton, voted for anti-abortion measures as a Democratic state representative in the early 1980s. But in recent years he has soft-pedaled his reputation as a pro-lifer.

“I believe ultimately an abortion is a personal decision of the woman,” Galvin said during a debate broadcast by WBUR on Monday, August 8. “I’ve made that clear, and I’ve conducted my office at that. Any other representation about me or my office is untrue.”

(Galvin’s comment is at 6:44 of the WBUR audio recording of the debate.)

Sullivan, during her press conference Thursday, August 11 outside the Massachusetts State House, said she would ensure that the public learns the names of lobbyists who she said “are in the Legislature fighting against budget funds for out-of-state abortion care.”

Some abortion supporters in the state legislature want to use public funds to pay for women who live in pro-life states to come to Massachusetts to have an abortion.

State House News Service reported:


In response to a question, Sullivan said she did not have the names of any particular lobbyists, firms, or organizations involved in the recent scenario she had described.

“What we have received, what we have learned, is that during the most recent lobbying effort to pass our reproductive justice law here at the State House, there were lobbyists who were representing companies that out front — this is what we’ve been told — that out front were saying ‘Yes, we support reproductive justice,’ but their lobbyists were coming back-door saying something different,” she said.


Galvin’s Democratic primary opponent in 2018, Josh Zakim, also attacked Galvin for his past pro-life votes and comments. Galvin beat Zakim by 67 to 32 percent.

The primary is Tuesday, September 6.

In the November general election, the winner of the Democratic primary will face the presumptive Republican nominee, Rayla Campbell, who is running unopposed in her party’s primary.


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