Healey tries to put murmurs of run for governor to rest

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BOSTON — Attorney General Maura Healey on Tuesday attempted to squash persistent chatter that she may run for governor in 2018, telling a radio audience that the role of attorney general has never been more important.

"You know as lawyers sometimes you get in the courtroom and the other side objects and they say 'asked and answered.' That's a little how I feel on this one," Healey said on WGBH's Boston Public Radio. "I'm running for reelection. I think that my job as attorney general, it's never been as important as it is now to do my job and do my job well. Certainly we have our hands full, so that's what I'm focused on."

Healey, who was a political newcomer when she won an upset over Warren Tolman in the Democratic primary for attorney general in 2014, had previously said she intends to run for a second term in 2018. But a slow-to-develop Democratic field for governor has given life to speculation that Healey could run for governor.

Later on during her monthly "Ask the AG" radio segment, a caller who identified himself as Jeremy from Quincy noted Healey's "stealthy and clever" answer and gave her another opportunity to announce a run for higher office.

"Jeremy, whether you ask it or Margery asks it or Jim asks it, the answer remains the same: I plan to run for re-election," Healey said, referring to co-hosts Margery Eagan and Jim Braude.

Gov. Charlie Baker has not yet announced his own re-election campaign, but Braude asked Healey if there is anything that should cause voters to not re-elect Baker.

"Well, that is something that will be for the voters and ultimately for the campaign," she said. Pressed by Braude whether she could envision herself voting for the Republican Baker, Healey did not directly answer.

"I'm a Democrat and I'm proud of the Democratic platform and policies, but I think it's too early to be talking about a 2018 campaign," Healey said. "As I sit here today with the news that's coming out just about every morning from the national level, that's really what I'm focused on."

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