After yesterday’s elections, Maura Healey is on track to become the first openly lesbian governor elected in the U.S. after winning the Democratic primary. Andrea Campbell won the Democratic nomination for attorney general, becoming the first Black woman in Massachusetts to be nominated by a party for statewide office. To break down the results and look ahead to November, GBH Morning Edition hosts Paris Alston and Jeremy Siegel were joined by Erin O'Brien, an associate professor of political science at UMass Boston, and Charlotte Golar Richie, an advocate, former State House representative and former candidate for Boston mayor. This transcript has been edited lightly.

Jeremy Siegel: So, Erin, we'll start with you: your takeaway from last night's results.

Erin O'Brien: It's twofold. One, as you know, women had a heck of a night in Massachusetts. And as Charlotte can certainly attest to, Massachusetts is middle of the pack of the 50 states in electing women and last in New England. So that's a really big deal and it's a long time coming. I also think what's going on with the GOP is going to be talked about for a long time. Normally, I'd come on this show and say both gubernatorial candidates are going to attract to the middle and they're going to reinvent themselves as moderate. Geoff Diehl is not going to do that. So that's something to watch, the reinvention of the GOP and the push back by some members of the GOP.

Paris Alston: So, Charlotte, you yourself have been a pioneer in city and state politics here in Massachusetts. What did you make of the results that came out of yesterday's election?

Golar Richie: I'm personally thrilled. And to add to what Erin was saying — big night. Big night for women, big night for good government. But I would add that along with Maura's outstanding campaign and the potential of her being our first woman governor and Andrea Campbell making history as the first Black woman to be a nominee candidate for statewide office — I would add that we have a dramatic duo of sorts with Maura and her running mate, Kim Driscoll. Two women on a ticket of a major party running to lead this state. It's outstanding.

Siegel: Charlotte, these were just primaries, though, with Massachusetts being a blue state, going heavily for President Biden in the last presidential election, Democrats are pretty likely to do well in November. What are you going to be watching for in the general election?

Golar Richie: Now that we have the primary in our rear view mirror, there are mentions around the tracking towards the middle — would we see this? I remember back in the day in the 1990s when I served in the Massachusetts legislature, Bill Weld was Governor. Charlie Baker was the secretary of health and human services. And the Republicans attracted a good number of moderate Democrats, conservative Democrats, to their side. This time, I'm thinking that we might see the opposite, with moderate and liberal Republicans saying that this is the viable candidate to support or the ticket to support. That's going to be sort of my wait and see, to see how that plays out.

"Women had a heck of a night in Massachusetts."
-Erin O'Brien, UMass Boston

Alston: I want to dig in that, too, a little bit deeper because just in some of my circles of friends and colleagues, there were some sentiments that people felt, okay, so Maura Healey has the nomination on the Democratic side. But we had a chance to go harder, right? Like to go even more progressive on the Democratic side. And some folks feeling like we're still staying with the status quo, even though things are shifting back to the other side of the aisle in the gubernatorial office. So, Erin, what's your take on that? I know you talked about how the GOP is really moving out to the margins. But what about on the left?

O'Brien: I'm smiling because I know those circles, too, and I've heard strongly from them. To me, sometimes when we have our progressive wing start to have some victories in a state like Massachusetts, where it's solidly blue but not necessarily progressive. Sort of, last night was a good night for the good liberals. No more, no less. And I think what some elements of the progressive wings of the party need to remember is that, they're not the majority. And they've been incredibly effective, like with Michelle Wu's win, when you're doing coalition building and things like that. But sometimes you have some losses, too. You can't get too far ahead of the electorate.

And I think what's going on here, when Maura Healey ran and won in 2013 against Tolman, she was the outsider pick. And so in some ways, I think the progressive wings of the party are a victim of their own success and that expectations have gotten higher. And that's a good thing for party accountability and things like that. But if you had said eight years ago, Maura Healey, someone who's a lesbian and is out, is going to be governor, a lot of people would have been very, very pleased. S,o I say to those wings of the party, keep fighting, keep pushing, but don't get too far ahead of the electorate.

Siegel: Well, Charlotte, what do you think we can gleam about the future of the Democratic Party in Massachusetts from this primary election? I'm thinking of some of the endorsements that were given, looking at the list of Michelle Wu's endorsements. It was sort of like win-loss, win-loss, win-loss. There were split endorsements in the attorney general race, Elizabeth Warren voting alongside Shannon Liss-Riordan, who didn't win. Healey voting alongside Andrea Campbell, who did win. What do you think yesterday's outcomes tell us about the future of the Democratic Party?

Golar Richie: That the Democratic Party is not a monolith. People have different opinions about things and everything, but in the end, everybody's going to come together. Can I just speak just a little bit, Jeremy, to the idea of this progressive wing, right? Because I count myself as a member of that. And I think actually Maura Healey might argue that she has some progressive cred, street cred around that stuff. In terms of her activism, you all on this show, I think, referred to her as a prodigious public litigator, taking on a slew of issues, whether it's around the OxyContin issue, the e-cigarette issue, the manufacturers, the NRA. She's a champion for choice, which we didn't think we were going to be dealing with reproductive choice, now, 50 years later. I mean, she's out there. And she was a civil rights attorney when I met her. She was in Martha Coakley's office heading up the Civil Rights Division.

And then I think Kim Driscoll, too, it's just interesting, the two of them, by the way, to be able to advance a progressive agenda, you do need to have people who know how to manage and manage big behemoth agencies. It's like moving the Titanic at times. So these women have proven that they have strong managerial experience and they know state government, they know how to tap resources. They know to help cities and towns, and with bringing in more of members of the progressive wing, like Sonia Chang-Diaz, who was a friend and I have supported her and others, they are going to be stronger and better as a ticket and as a leadership team.

"So these women [Healey and Driscoll] have proven that they have strong managerial experience and they know state government, they know how to tap resources."
-Charlotte Golar Richie

Alston: Well, before we let you two go, I do want to ask one question about voter turnout, because many folks described it as abysmal yesterday, some folks crediting that to the rain. I'm wondering, do you think that the ballot as it stands now, the candidates who are in front of us, will they be able to energize voters to turn out in elections to come?

O'Brien: I think so. Rain — get tough people. But, you know, when you have a governor's race on the Democratic side, that is all but predetermined and it's the day after Labor Day, it's not that surprising because top of the ticket is what gets people to turn out, which is kind of wild because bottom of the ticket probably affects you a little bit more in your day to day. But I think Geoff Diehl in Massachusetts is going to drive turnout among Baker moderates, progressives and liberals, even those who might not love the Healey-Driscoll ticket. A lot of people in Massachusetts don't want to see total Trumpism in the governor's office in Massachusetts. So I think GOTV can happen because you love a candidate and also because you strongly dislike their policy positions. I think we're going to get a mix of both, but may be a little bit more of the latter at this go round.

Siegel: Charlotte, in the last 30 seconds, we have your thoughts on turnout and excitement ahead of November.

Golar Richie: Well, I'm excited about turnout. I think that all of these candidates that we saw running, whether it's in various county races or for the state houses, they're going to come together. The field is narrowed. People are going to unite. I think we're going to see turnout that's going to improve in November. There's too much at stake. You know, we hear this maybe overused statement, but really our democracy is at stake and it's at stake, state by state. And Massachusetts is a leader. And we need to really make sure that people get to the polls.

I just want to give a shout out to the sheriff's race, to Steve Tompkins and also to the second Suffolk State Senate seat. I want to say that that that race was a model for how races can be, where you have a lot of qualified people. They care about the community, but they were able to be collegial. And hopefully they can come together and make the second Suffolk District even stronger, better, more prosperous than it is.