Andrea Campbell, the Democratic nominee for attorney general, would not commit to holding debates with her Republican opponent in an interview Monday.
When asked on Boston Public Radio if she would debate Republican nominee Jay McMahon in an event by GBH, she replied, "We'll see."
If she prevails in November, Campbell said she would prioritize mental health and racial equity.
"As I criss-cross this state, what has come up quite a bit, is a major concern around one, mental health," she said Monday. "I don't think we've ever really prioritized those issues the way we should ... There's a lot the office can do to address that, and couple that with opioid crisis and drug use. In addition, I think everything having to do with racial disparities that exist in every system. There is obviously an expectation that I would take those issues on, and I would."
Campbell, a former candidate for mayor of Boston, was endorsed by Maura Healey, Massachusetts' current attorney general and Democratic nominee for governor, in the lead-up to the primary. Healey has pursued high-profile litigation around opioid addiction, most prominently by coordinating with other state AGs to reach a multibillion-dollar settlement with Purdue Pharma, the Oxycontin manufacturer owned by the Sackler family.
Campbell thanked Healey in her victory speech on primary night.
"It's a partnership that the commonwealth of Massachusetts should be proud of," Campbell said on Boston Public Radio. "Obviously, a governor and attorney general can do a lot together, of course along with other statewide offices."
Campbell highlighted that partnership especially with the MBTA, saying the AG office can play a role "in pushing for greater transparency" and accountability, "including diversity requirements when it comes to procurement." GBH News’ investigative team has closely covered the lack of diversity in state-run contracts, with roughly 3% of all state government contracts going to minority-owned businesses in 2021.
While the primary sets up a potential power duo between Campbell and Healey, it also revealed a rift between her and one-time fellow city councilor, Boston Mayor Michelle Wu. Wu endorsed Campbell's opponent Shannon Liss-Riordan, but Campbell played down that rift, saying she's focused on the work ahead.
"I've always led in a way that I don't make it personal — part of that is, maybe, it's my faith walk, as Mom says," she said. "I don't engage in the petty or revenge, or the politics of things. For me it is about getting out, meeting people where they are, being as inclusive as possible, because there are so many folks who feel left out of the political systems," she said, citing communities of color, low-income residents and people in the LGBTQ community.
"Our job was to engage all of those communities to say, 'I see you. I want to work on behalf of you, and make sure these systems are responsive to your needs,'" she continued.