Massachusetts Attorney General election, 2014

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Massachusetts Attorney General Election

Primary Date:
September 9, 2014

General Election Date:
November 4, 2014

November 4 Election Winner:
Martha Coakley Democratic Party
Incumbent prior to election:
Martha Coakley Democratic Party
Martha Coakley.jpg

Massachusetts State Executive Elections
Top Ballot
Governor Lieutenant GovernorSecretary of StateAttorney General
Down Ballot
Treasurer, Auditor

Flag of Massachusetts.png
The Massachusetts Attorney General election took place on November 4, 2014. Incumbent Martha Coakley (D) was first elected in 2006 and opted to run for Governor of Massachusetts rather than seek re-election to her current post.[1]

The race to replace Coakley included Democratic candidate Maura Healey and Republican candidate John B. Miller. Healey won election to a four-year term. Democrats won by comfortable margins in the previous two elections, which are detailed in the past elections section. Learn more about where the candidates stood on major issues facing Massachusetts by jumping to the campaign themes section.

Massachusetts is one of 21 states with a mixed primary system. Unaffiliated voters are allowed to vote in the primary election. They may choose which party ballot they wish to vote on and still remain unaffiliated.[2]


General election

Democratic Party Maura Healey Green check mark transparent.png - Former Deputy Attorney General
Republican Party John B. Miller

Filed for other office

Democratic Party Martha Coakley - Incumbent

Lost in primary

Democratic Party Warren Tolman - Former state Senator and 2002 gubernatorial candidate


Democratic Party Harold Naughton, Jr. - State Rep.[3][4]


General election

Attorney General of Massachusetts, 2014
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngMaura Healey 61.7% 1,280,513
     Republican John B. Miller 38.2% 793,821
     Nonpartisan Write-in votes 0.1% 2,103
Total Votes 2,076,437
Election Results via Massachusetts Secretary of State.

Primary election

Democratic primary

Massachusetts Attorney General, Democratic Primary, 2014
Candidate Vote % Votes
Green check mark transparent.pngMaura Healey 62.1% 322,380
Warren Tolman 37.7% 195,654
Write-in votes 0.1% 721
Total Votes 518,755
Election Results via Massachusetts Secretary of State.

Republican primary

John B. Miller won the Republican nomination without opposition.

Campaign themes

Both candidates in the race for Attorney General of Massachusetts made public statements about issues facing Massachusetts residents. The following sections quote these statements verbatim from campaign websites.

Maura Healey

I am running for Attorney General because my experience, drive and vision for the office make me the best candidate to fight for Massachusetts. As a division and bureau chief in the Attorney General’s Office, I have been on the front lines fighting for fairness, equality and justice. I will lead using the strengths and skills I have acquired throughout my career as a lawyer, advocate and prosecutor.

Civil Rights

As Chief of the Civil Rights Division, Maura brought the nation’s first civil rights case by a state against a subprime lender to hold it accountable for charging minority borrowers more for the same mortgages. She knows that abusive and discriminatory lending practices strip equity out of communities and leave neighborhoods trapped in poverty. She will continue to fight to end bias in lending practices and outcomes.

Clean Energy Economy

The next Attorney General must lead on both energy policy and environmental protection. In the era of climate change, advancing clean energy and energy efficiency is critical to safeguarding the environment and will grow the economy. Maura believes that the Attorney General’s ratepayer advocacy and environmental protection mandates go hand in hand. She will act as a 21st century ratepayer advocate, seeking savings for consumers by controlling energy costs, reducing energy use, reducing our reliance on resources from outside New England, and diversifying our fuel supply. Maura will listen to all sectors – residential, commercial, and industrial – and strive for balanced solutions.

As Maura did when she oversaw the Attorney General’s Environmental Protection Division, she will also ensure that Massachusetts continues to stand with the EPA on regulating greenhouse gases and toxic emissions from power plants and reducing cross-state air pollution through enforcement of the “good neighbor rule.”

Community Engagement

The Attorney General’s Office must engage with the needs of the community. This requires being proactive, not only by listening to complaints, but by communicating with community organizations, advocacy groups, and local leaders to know what is happening on the ground. As Chief of the Civil Rights Division, I oversaw a team of paralegals and lawyers that handled dozens of constituent complaints each week. I was committed to trying to help every person who called. I also met with stakeholders, community groups, and advocacy organizations on a regular basis to ensure that we were focused on the issues that confronted the communities we were charged with protecting. I will expand the Office’s public engagement and outreach efforts, implement a more coordinated system for reviewing constituent complaints, and expand outreach to communities. By devoting more resources to these endeavors, and by recruiting and retaining a more diverse workforce, I know we can better serve the people of Massachusetts.

Consumer Protection

Maura led the Attorney General’s Public Protection & Advocacy Bureau, which is charged with protecting Massachusetts consumers. Under her leadership, the office has taken on abusive mortgage lenders, for-profit colleges, payday lenders and companies that target the elderly with scams. Maura has worked on nation-leading regulations to stop abusive lending to home-buyers and students. Her aggressive plan to stop abusive lending by for-profit colleges calls for new enforcement actions, adoption of regulations, changes in legislation and increased public awareness efforts in partnership with communities.

Criminal Justice Reform

Maura was a criminal prosecutor and a civil rights attorney. It’s not enough to be tough on crime; we need to be smart on crime. Massachusetts needs to invest in new approaches and programs focused on prevention, stabilization and treatment, with a particular focus on mental and behavioral health as well as addiction and education. Families will remain in poverty if their breadwinners continue to face revolving incarceration. We also need to ensure that those incarcerated receive life skills, education, job-training or other training to help them succeed released, therefore reducing their risk of recidivism.

Disability Rights

In the Attorney General’s Office, Maura was a champion for people with disabilities in ensuring access to education, employment, housing, transportation and public accommodation. Maura achieved a landmark settlement with Apple, Inc. to ensure that the iTunes education platform was accessible to blind and other print disabled users. Understanding that people with disabilities are disproportionately under or unemployed, she reached an agreement with to make sure its job website and mobile applications were accessible. She also worked to achieve a settlement agreement with the country’s three largest movie theaters companies so that people who are visually-impaired or deaf can enjoy the movie-going experience, and to make ATMs accessible. She also aggressively investigated and brought cases against landlords, employers, and storeowners who failed to meet the needs of people with disabilities.

Drug Addiction

Maura agrees strongly with Governor Patrick that the opioid addiction epidemic is a public health emergency in our state. Drug addiction is a threat not only to addicts but to families and communities. We must use all of government’s authority, including the powers of the Attorney General to lead on this issue.

Economic Inequality

To support working people in our state and take on growing income inequality, Maura believes we first have to do three things: 1) raise the minimum wage and tie it to the rising cost of living, 2) achieve a progressive tax structure so that the investments we must make in our future are not shouldered by those with the least, and 3) support unionization across industries and workplaces to give workers the voice and collective bargaining power to create good paying jobs that support healthy, working and middle class communities. As the next Attorney General, Maura will be an advocate for those reforms. The next Attorney General is charged with enforcing our fair labor laws and Maura will bring additional resources necessary to protect workers from abuse or exploitation.

Environment & Energy

Maura is a strong advocate for the environment and for a cleaner, healthier, more energy-efficient Massachusetts. She believes that our next AG must respond aggressively to global warming.

Fishing Communities

Fishing is a key industry in Massachusetts, supporting many families and businesses, and a significant part of our history and culture. My grandfather worked on the fishing docks of Gloucester, and my family roots are in Newburyport and along the North Shore. I care deeply about the needs of our fishing communities in Massachusetts, and will continue to be an advocate on their behalf.

When I was in the Attorney General’s Office, I worked on efforts to assist fishing communities throughout Massachusetts. That work included suing NOAA over its failure to consider the devastating economic impacts of its regulations, and advocating for much-needed disaster relief. I also oversaw the HomeCorps program, which helped stop foreclosures and keep families in their homes, and set up a separate liaison for fishing families.

For-Profit Schools

When Healey led Coakley’s Public Protection Bureau, the AG sued a for-profit school that aggressively recruited students with false promises of high earnings and misrepresented its courses and facilities. It eventually agreed to repay student borrowers $425,000.


The significant law enforcement, consumer protection, and public safety impacts of expanded casino gaming in Massachusetts make this a central issue for our next Attorney General, the chief law enforcement officer of our state. Therefore, I believe you have a right to know exactly where I, and all the candidates for Attorney General, stand on casinos. I’m strongly opposed. I support repeal of the gaming law. I do not believe a modern economy that creates opportunities for every person can be built on gambling.

Gun Violence

Maura is committed to eliminating the scourge of gun violence and addressing the deep public health and public safety crisis created by the proliferation and misuse of guns in our homes, on our streets and in our communities.

Health Care

Maura believes that every resident of our state deserves affordable, high quality health care. This includes ensuring parity for mental health services. Mental health services must be just as available as services for physical injuries and sickness.


Every person who calls Massachusetts home should have a safe, affordable, and stable place to live. As a leader in the Attorney General’s Office, I initiated fair housing lawsuits, took on subprime lenders for their predatory practices, and oversaw the first-in-the-nation HomeCorps program, which was created to keep families in their homes and stop unnecessary foreclosures. Through that work, I witnessed the critical housing challenges that Massachusetts families and residents face.

LGBT Rights

Maura has an unmatched record of leadership and advocacy on behalf of the LGBT community. As Chief of the Civil Rights Division, Maura developed and argued the nation’s first successful challenge to the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). At the time, in 2009, the President was still defending the law and the majority of Americans were still opposed to equal marriage.

Public Corruption

As a civil rights attorney, a consumer advocate, and a first-time candidate from outside the political establishment, I am deeply committed to fighting political corruption and bringing more openness and transparency to Beacon Hill. I have both the independence and the experience to make that happen.

The Attorney General is the people’s lawyer and advocate. It is the Attorney General’s responsibility to investigate and prosecute political corruption at all levels, including the gray areas of the law that have too often allowed insiders to hire unqualified people into significant positions of public service.

The rigged hiring system uncovered in the Probation Department is a prime example of the kind of misconduct I will root out as Attorney General. Those practices were absolutely illegal. The fact that they constituted business as usual on Beacon Hill is even more of a problem. Fake systems, supported by fake documents, used to hire relatives and political allies, are a betrayal of the public trust.

I am running as an independent leader and will work aggressively on behalf of the public to address corruption of all forms in our state government.

An important part of ending political corruption is promoting transparency in government. That is why I have run the most transparent campaign in this race. I released five years of my tax returns and was the first statewide candidate to do so. I post my answers to all candidate questionnaires on my website, so the public knows what I am saying to private interest groups. In the Democratic Primary, I proposed and won agreement on a strong ban on special interest spending. Transparency is a core value of my campaign, and I will bring that commitment with me to the Attorney General’s Office.

As Attorney General, I will also modernize the Office’s website to ensure full access to information. I will support our state courts putting more court documents online. And as legal counsel to our state agencies, I will work to ensure transparency and open practices across state government.

Reproductive Rights

In light of the recent Supreme Court Decision on the Buffer Zone, Maura proposed immediate fixes to the Massachusetts Legislature to take action to keep women seeking healthcare safe

School Safety and Cyber Bullying

As Attorney General, Maura will provide resources to parents and schools to combat bullying. Maura will utilize all available tools to stop individuals who harass other students so excessively that it interferes with their secured right to an education. Maura will also champion effective programs and creative solutions, particularly those that are effective in combating bullying against the most vulnerable students in our schools.

Combatting Sexual and Domestic Violence

As a former prosecutor and a civil rights attorney, I have experience advocating on behalf of survivors of violence. When I was a Special Assistant District Attorney in Middlesex County, I prosecuted domestic violence cases before both judges and juries. As Chief of the Attorney General’s Civil Rights Division, I sought and obtained protective orders on behalf of victims of hate crimes, and I worked with the Attorney General’s Victim Compensation and Assistance Division to ensure that those victims were able to access much-needed services. I worked on and supported the first human trafficking law in Massachusetts, which is a model for other states.

Veterans' Affairs

As a leader in the Attorney General’s Office, I was at the forefront of the Office’s efforts to assist servicemembers and veterans. When I oversaw the HomeCorps program, which helped stop foreclosures and keep families in their homes, I set up a liaison dedicated to military families. I also collaborated with cities and towns to make sure every community had a Veterans Service Officer (VSO) in place, created a first-of-its- kind, comprehensive legal resource guide for veterans and servicemembers, brought enforcement actions against for-profit schools that engaged in deceptive practices aimed at veteran students, and funded grants to provide mental health services for veterans. Our state’s challenge to the federal Defense of Marriage Act, which I led, assisted same-sex couples denied access to military benefits. [5]

—Maura Healey's campaign website, (2014) [6]

John B. Miller

Political Corruption:
Beacon Hill is a mess. Too often we open the paper or see on T.V. another politician, vendor, or official arrested. For many years the AG has been part of a Beacon Hill culture unwilling to tackle public corruption. This culture has led to fraud, waste, and abuse of taxpayer dollars. That culture ends when I am elected. One of the primary reasons I’m running is to re-establish what existing law already provides — a heavy penalty paid by politicians and officials that abuse their power or convert taxpayer dollars for their own benefit. You’re the client and your tax dollars will not be wasted on contracts given out without proper review from your lawyer, the Attorney General. I am not a member of the Beacon Hill Club and never will be. I will never hesitate to attack corruption wherever it is found. Only the Attorney General has the independent constitutional authority to clean up the mess.

Tackling Crime Openly and Honestly:
One of my first acts as the next Attorney General will be to organize and host a Crime Summit with broad participation from the public and from across government. [Community leaders, the District Attorneys, the Police Chiefs (Association), the State Police, the Sheriffs, the Department of Public Safety, the Commissioner of Probation, the Inspector General, the Department of Public Health, and the criminal defense bar.] We need to openly discuss and identify ways to better serve and protect the public safety of citizens across Massachusetts. On behalf of them, we need to do a better job of sharing information and implementing new technologies to fairly and effectively implement a Fact-Based Justice system. Far too many of our six million citizens and families are personally touched by crime and by drug abuse. It’s time for an Attorney General who will lead an open dialog with the public and with leaders from across the state’s law enforcement team. We need to pull together, using 21st century technology and communications to wisely tackle crime and its effects on all our citizens.

Illegal Immigration:
Massachusetts is now a border state and it’s time to act like one. As Attorney General, I won’t blindly sit by and let the federal government release illegal immigrants into our state without first protecting the civil rights of Massachusetts residents and citizens. State laws establish requirements and taxpayer funding for public health, safety, and for the education of Massachusetts kids. Scarce property tax dollars should not be taken, in a few of our cities, from health, safety, and education budgets to fund this federal failure. As your AG, I will hold the federal government accountable for monies taken from Massachusetts citizens, cities, and towns to fund this federal responsibility. You are the client. I will fight to protect you from seeing scarce tax dollars diverted to fund a federal obligation. [5]

—John Miller's campaign website, (2014) [7]

Past elections


Massachusetts Attorney General, General Election, 2010
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngMartha Coakley Incumbent 62.8% 1,417,538
     Republican James P. McKenna 37.2% 839,274
Total Votes 2,256,812
Election Results via Massachusetts Secretary of the Commonwealth


Massachusetts Attorney General, General Election, 2006
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngMarth Coakley 72.9% 1,546,582
     Republican Larry Frisoli 27.1% 574,388
Total Votes 2,120,970
Election Results via Massachusetts Secretary of the Commonwealth

Key deadlines

Deadline Event
May 6, 2014 Signature filing deadline for party candidates seeking federal or statewide office to file with Registrar of Voters
June 3, 2014 Deadline for political party candidates seeking federal or statewide office to file with Secretary of Commonwealth
July 29, 2014 Deadline for nonpartisan candidates seeking federal or statewide office to file with Registrar of Voters
August 26, 2014 Deadline for nonpartisan candidates seeking federal or statewide office to file with Secretary of Commonwealth
September 9, 2014 Primary election
November 4, 2014 General election
January 8, 2015 Inauguration day for governor and lieutenant governor
January 21, 2015 Inauguration day for other state executive officers

Ballotpedia reports

To learn more about developments in these races, check out the following news articles from Ballotpedia:

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