Updated at 11:57 p.m. Sept. 6

Maura Healey, the current attorney general of Massachusetts, has secured the Democratic nomination for governor, according to the Associated Press.

Speaking to supporters at the Local IBEW 103 union hall shortly after 9 p.m., Healey cast herself as the spiritual heir to Gov. Charlie Baker, the Republican incumbent. Baker, who has enjoyed high marks from voters throughout his two terms in office, has been pointedly critical of former President Donald Trump and suggested that Massachusetts politics can serve as an example for the rest of the country.

"Governor Baker has led with respect and worked with both parties," Healey said. "He's refused to engage in the politics of division and destruction that we've seen across this country."

After warning that her Republican opponent would shift gears and "bring Trumpism to Massachusetts," Healey added: "I don't know about you, but I am tired of the anger, the vitriol, the division.

"That's not who we are," she continued. "That's not what Massachusetts is all about. I want a different path. My path is one of optimism — working together with urgency and intention to get things done."

After Healey's speech, the Associated Press called the Republican primary contest for former state Rep. Geoff Diehl. Diehl, who was an early supporter of Trump, had faced Wrentham businessman Chris Doughty, who attempted to split the difference between Diehl's conservatism and the moderation espoused by Baker.

Healey will be the early favorite in the general election. In July, a Suffolk University / Boston Globe poll showed Healey leading both Diehl and Doughty by at least 30 percentage points in hypothetical matchups.

In his remarks Tuesday, Diehl vowed to run a general-election campaign "focused on we, the people — our freedoms, our rights, and our prosperity.

"I declare Maura Healey to be the people's worst nightmare," Diehl said.

KathyJo Boss, Geoff Diehl
Massachusetts Republian gubernatorial candidate Geoff Diehl, center, and his wife, KathyJo Boss, left, greet supporters at his primary night victory party, Tuesday, Sept. 6, 2022, in Weymouth, Mass. Diehl, a former GOP state representative from Whitman, Mass. endorsed by Donald Trump, beat businessman Chris Doughty for the chance to replace incumbent Republican Gov. Charlie Baker, who's opted not to seek a third term.
Josh Reynolds AP

Healey, who is currently wrapping up her second term as attorney general, is known for her prolific litigation against the Trump administration and her landmark lawsuit against the Sackler family and Purdue Pharma for their roles in the opioid epidemic.

Before becoming AG, Healey was the head of then-Attorney General Martha Coakley’s civil rights division and played a key role in the legal push to obtain federal benefits for married couples of the same sex.

In a testament to Healey’s political clout, the three other Democrats who had sought the governorship — state Senator Sonia Chang-Díaz, Harvard political philosopher Danielle Allen and former state Sen. Ben Downing — all ended their bids prematurely.

Healey’s early strength comes despite Massachusetts voters' affinity for electing Republican governors who can serve as a check on the Democrat-dominated Legislature. While Deval Patrick, a Democrat, won the governorship in 2006 and 2010, he was an anomaly in a string of Republicans that includes Bill Weld, Paul Cellucci, Mitt Romney and Baker.

Paul Watanabe, a professor of political science at UMass Boston and the director of that school's Institute for Asian American Studies, says Healey’s success in this campaign has been fueled by the political persona she’s cultivated.

“She’s been able to reach out to people who are moderates, and even people in the other party,” Watanabe said. “She’s considered a decent human being, a proud public servant, and somebody who can take the corner office and manage it very well."

While Healey was criticized in some quarters for a dearth of detailed plans earlier in the primary, Watanabe said that lack of specificity may actually have worked to her benefit.

“People can see her as somebody who can support their position, or not … go against a position they take as a serious one, an important one,” he said. “In some respects, that vagueness is going to have to get solidified [if] she becomes the governor and has to make some important choices.”

If Healey wins, she would be the first woman elected governor of Massachusetts. She is also vying to become the first openly lesbian governor elected in the United States, an honor that could also go to Oregon's Tina Kotek.

Healey scored another big win Tuesday when Andrea Campbell, the former Boston city councilor, topped labor lawyer Shannon Liss-Riordan in the Democratic primary contest for attorney general.

Recent polling had shown that Liss-Riordan, who has spent upwards of $9 million of her own money to buoy her candidacy, had effectively wiped out Campbell’s early lead heading into primary day. But Healey campaigned aggressively with Campbell down the race's home stretch, telling voters across Massachusetts that Campbell's blend of intellect and lived experience — including an incarcerated father and childhood stints in foster care — made her the best person for the job Healey is about to leave.

In her victory speech, Campbell thanked Healey for her "political courage" and for "form[ing] an incredible partnership that Massachusetts should absolutely be proud of."

If elected this fall, Campbell will become the first Black woman elected to a statewide position in Massachusetts. She'll face Republican Jay McMahon in the general election.

Tanisha Sullivan, who leads the NAACP's Boston branch, was also seeking to become the first Black woman elected statewide in her run for secretary of the commonwealth. After casting the Democratic incumbent, Bill Galvin, as reactive and unimaginative, Sullivan won the official endorsement of the Mass. Democratic Party in June. But Galvin, who is seeking an eighth consecutive term, fended her off with relative ease on primary day.

Rayla Campbell, a conservative Republican who will be that party's nominee for secretary of state, will face Galvin this fall, and could also become the first Black woman elected statewide if she succeeds.

Despite Galvin's victory over Sullivan, female Democratic candidates had a banner night Tuesday. In addition to Healey and Campbell's victories, Salem Mayor Kim Driscoll won the primary for lieutenant governor, besting state Rep. Tami Gouveia and state Sen. Eric Lesser. And in the state auditor primary, state Sen. Diana DiZoglio edged out Chris Dempsey, a former assistant secretary of transportation.

"With your help ... Massachusetts will elect, for the first time, a governor and lieutenant governor — an all-woman ticket," Driscoll said in her victory speech.

"While it is exciting to make history, we know this race is not about gender," Driscoll added. "It’s about electing the best team to do the job."

Deb Goldberg, the state treasurer, is running unopposed for reelection.

Last week, Galvin, the state's top elections official, predicted that close to a quarter of Massachusetts' registered voters would participate in the primaries, either on Sept. 6 or through early and mail-in voting.