Updated at 3:53 p.m. Sept. 7

Geoff Diehl secured the Republican nomination for governor and wasted no time pivoting from his primary victory to his next challenge: facing off against Maura Healey in the general election.

The conservative former state representative has positioned himself as a candidate against government overreach on things like abortion and vaccine mandates. During his acceptance speech Tuesday night in Weymouth, Diehl launched into attacks against Healey, declaring her “the people’s worst nightmare” and the harbinger of a “more expensive, more excessive and more restrictive” Massachusetts.

Diehl criticized Healey’s “radical policies” including her support for legalizing driver's licenses for undocumented residents and her opposition to discrimination against transgender students in Massachusetts schools.

“We've got to empower parents to keep that political agenda out of the classrooms; schools teaching the ABC’s and the 123’s are important for parents to be leading,” Diehl said. “Maura Healey believes in a different type of education: W.O.K.E.”

At a bar in a Weymouth strip mall, Diehl supporters cheered as the polls continued to tick up in their favor, nearly filling up a dining area decked out with American flags, patriotic balloons and patrons wearing "The Real Diehl" shirts and red, white and blue bead necklaces.

As Diehl’s lead began to surge, John Kramer raised two fists in the air, showing the full text on his shirt that read “MASSACHUSETTS SHOULD REPEAL ALL OF ITS GUN CONTROL LAWS.” Kramer, a libertarian from Marshfield, said he likes Diehl because “he’s a lower-government kind of person” who reminds him of the former president.

“Trump did some really good things to reduce the size of government,” Kramer said, “and [Diehl] will do that as well, cutting down spending and cutting down the government’s power.”

Former President Donald Trump praised Diehl as a “proven fighter” who will “rule your state with an iron fist” at a tele-rally on Monday. Last year, roughly one month before Gov. Charlie Baker announced that he wouldn’t be seeking reelection in 2022, Trump endorsed Diehl for governor, describing Baker in a statement as a “Republican in name only” and “definitely not an American First or Make America Great Again kind of guy.”

Since then, Diehl has continued to embrace the rhetoric and values of the former president’s administration.

In a back-and-forth with Boston Public Radio co-host Jim Braude the day after the primary, Diehl said there was “rigging going on” in the 2020 election. He made a similar comment last October — a reversal of his prior position that the election was not stolen and that it was time for the Republican Party to "stop crying over spilled milk."

Diehl said on Boston Public Radio that he would vote for Trump if the former president runs again in 2024, highlighting “four really great years economically” and the 6-3 conservative majority on the Supreme Court.

Healey built her reputation on challenging Trump, suing his administration nearly 100 times. Almost immediately after Diehl’s race was called in his favor Tuesday, Healey's campaign released a statement likening her general election opponent to the former president.

“Geoff Diehl wants to bring Trumpism to Massachusetts,” Healey Campaign Manager Jason Burrell wrote in the statement. “He has embraced the Trump playbook of anger and extremism, and he opposes a woman’s right to abortion access and reproductive health care… Massachusetts can not afford the extremism of Geoff Diehl.”

Diehl has campaigned with Trump allies and brought on Corey Lewandowski, Trump’s 2016 campaign manager, as a senior advisor to his campaign.

“There are significant differences between Geoff Diehl’s agenda for the state of Massachusetts and Healey’s agenda,” Lewandowski said. “If Geoff is elected, on day one, all those municipal and state workers that were fired because they refused a COVID shot will be rehired, and on day two, all the people who said those people should be fired will be fired.”

Diehl echoed that plan during his Wednesday appearance on Boston Public Radio. The issue is personal for Diehl’s de-facto running mate, Leah Cole Allen, a former state legislator who was fired from her job as a nurse after refusing to get the COVID-19 vaccine.

“I am so thankful to have her by my side throughout this election time, what a great team we are,” Diehl said, referring to Cole as his "not yet official" running mate. “Now it's on to the general election. And with this campaign, we are going to be redefining politics as usual here in Massachusetts for the first time in our state's history.”

This story was updated to include comments Diehl made during his appearance on Boston Public Radio.