BOSTON — Harvard University professor Danielle Allen, who has never held elected office, is scheduled to announce a run for the Democratic nomination for governor of Massachusetts.
Allen is the first Black woman to run for governor as a member of a major party in Massachusetts history.
Allen, who announced in December that she was exploring a run and has been traveling the state since to talk to residents, has scheduled a news conference for Tuesday on Boston Common in front of the Robert Gould Shaw Memorial.
Allen, 49, said she was inspired to run by her own family’s history and her work as a political theorist at Harvard, where she is director of the Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics.
“I’ve been given the opportunity to stand on a strong foundation of social infrastructure and to thrive,” she told The Boston Globe. “And that has equipped me to do this. So I feel an obligation to show that it is possible for every young woman of color out there.”
She said on a video on her campaign website that the state’s elected leaders have let down the state.
“We all have a role to play in putting our society back on a track that really distributes opportunity fairly, and if our elected officers are not delivering that, then we have to make a change.”
The reaction to the pandemic was “the last straw” that has left her with a “profound sense of betrayal.”
Allen enters the race at a time when the face of Massachusetts politics is changing.
Kim Janey became Boston’s first black mayor just months ago, and most of the top candidates for the fall election are people of color.
Allen will be the Democratic field’s second declared candidate after former state Sen. Ben Downing. State Sen. Sonia Chang-Díaz is exploring a bid and Attorney General Maura Healey has been mentioned as a possible candidate.
On the Republican side, Gov. Charlie Baker has not yet announced whether he will seek a third term. If he does not, Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito, would likely be the frontrunner.