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2006 MA Gubernatorial Candidate Debate: Round II

In partnership with:
With support from: Lowell Institute
Date and time
Thursday, October 19, 2006

Massachusetts gubernatorial candidates, Grace Ross, Christy Mihos, Deval Patrick, and Lt. Gov. Kerry Healey, debate at Boston's Faneuil Hall. As election day grows near, and negative political advertising increases, growing tension between Democrat Deval Patrick and Republican Kerry Healey bubbles over.

Ross grew up in New York, before coming to Massachusetts to attend Harvard University, where she obtained a BA in psychology and a master's degree in education. After this she became involved in the low-income community, and her primary activist work has been to address issues related to abolishing poverty. She has also worked on other causes from nonviolence, the environment, and international solidarity to anti-racist struggles, women's rights, union organizing and gay/lesbian civil rights. In 2006 Ross became the first open lesbian to run for the post of governor of Massachusetts. Ross lost to Deval Patrick, receiving 43,193 votes for 1.95% of the total vote. In December of that year, Ross was named "Person of the Year" by the New England gay-oriented magazine, *IN News Weekly*. Ross was an at-large candidate for the Worcester City Council in 2007. She received 6,629 votes, placing eighth out of twelve in the November election in which the top six vote-getters were elected. In 2008, Ross helped found the Massachusetts Alliance Against Predatory Lending, a coalition of over 30 community organizations, housing counseling agencies, legal services groups and others who have come together to work on the sub-prime foreclosure crisis in Massachusetts. She is also active in the Worcester Anti-Foreclosure Team.
Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick was elected in November of 2006. He brings to the Governor's office a broad range of leadership experience at the top levels of business, government and non-profits. Hoping for the best and working for it, his life has traced a trajectory from the South Side of Chicago to the US Justice Department, Fortune 500 boardrooms, and now the Massachusetts State House. After graduating from Milton, Patrick went on to Harvard, the first in his family to attend college. He received his degree, with honors, in 1978 and spent a post-graduate year working on a United Nations youth training project in the Darfur region of Sudan. He returned to Cambridge to attend Harvard Law School in the fall of 1979, where he lead the Legal Aid Bureau, the nation's oldest student-run legal services organization, and won the Ames Moot Court competition. Following law school, Patrick served as a law clerk to a federal appellate judge before joining the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund. In 1986, he joined the Boston law firm of Hill & Barlow and was named partner in 1990, at the age of 34. In 1994, President Clinton appointed Patrick Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights, the nation's top civil rights post. At the Justice Department, Patrick worked on a wide range of issues, including prosecution of hate crimes and abortion clinic violence, and enforcement of employment discrimination, fair lending and disabilities rights laws. During his tenure, Patrick led the largest federal criminal investigation before September 11th, coordinating state, local and federal agencies to investigate church burnings throughout the South in the mid-1990s. Governor Patrick has also served on numerous charitable and corporate boards, as well as the Federal Election Reform Commission under Presidents Carter and Ford, and as Vice Chair of the Massachusetts Judicial Nominating Council by appointment of Governor Weld. He is the recipient of numerous awards and honorary degrees, and is a Henry Crown Fellow of the Aspen Institute. Diane and Deval Patrick have been married for over twenty-five years and have two adult daughters, Sarah and Katherine. The Patrick family has lived in Milton, in a house on Deval's high school paper route, for the last 20 years.
Healey's political career began in the late 1990s when she unsuccessfully challenged Democratic incumbent Michael Cahill to represent the 6th Essex District in the Massachusetts House of Representatives. She then served briefly as chairperson of the Massachusetts Republican State Committee. She was elected in 2002 as lieutenant governor on the Republican ticket with Mitt Romney. After Governor Mitt Romney's announcement that he would not seek re-election in the 2006 election Healey formally announced on February 8, 2006, that she would seek the Republican nomination for Governor. On November 7, Healey was defeated by Democrat Deval Patrick by 21 percentage points.