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Head of Boston NAACP says she’s running for state secretary

January 18, 2022 GMT
FILE — Boston NAACP Branch President Tanisha Sullivan faces reporters during a news conference, Thursday, Dec. 12, 2019, in Boston. Sullivan said Tuesday, Jan. 18, 2022, she is running for the Democratic nomination for Massachusetts secretary of the commonwealth. Sullivan said in a campaign video that she'll work to expand voting rights and make public records more accessible. (AP Photo/Steven Senne, File)
FILE — Boston NAACP Branch President Tanisha Sullivan faces reporters during a news conference, Thursday, Dec. 12, 2019, in Boston. Sullivan said Tuesday, Jan. 18, 2022, she is running for the Democratic nomination for Massachusetts secretary of the commonwealth. Sullivan said in a campaign video that she'll work to expand voting rights and make public records more accessible. (AP Photo/Steven Senne, File)
FILE — Boston NAACP Branch President Tanisha Sullivan faces reporters during a news conference, Thursday, Dec. 12, 2019, in Boston. Sullivan said Tuesday, Jan. 18, 2022, she is running for the Democratic nomination for Massachusetts secretary of the commonwealth. Sullivan said in a campaign video that she'll work to expand voting rights and make public records more accessible. (AP Photo/Steven Senne, File)

BOSTON (AP) — The president of the Boston branch of the NAACP said Tuesday that she is running for the Democratic nomination for Massachusetts secretary of the commonwealth.

Tanisha Sullivan said in a campaign video that she’ll seek to expand voting rights, make public records more accessible and work to reduce economic inequality.

Longtime Democratic Secretary of the Commonwealth William Galvin hasn’t said whether he plans to seek re-election to an eighth term in the fall. Galvin was first elected in 1994 and had more than $1.9 million in his campaign account as of the start of 2022.

“I’ll champion policies to protect, defend and expand voting rights here in Massachusetts and across the country. I’ll do more to open our government and help make it accountable to you by ensuring the accessibility and transparency of our public records,” she said in the video.

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“And using the power of this office, I’ll promote economic prosperity, protect your investments from fraud, and tackle our economic inequality,” she added.

Sullivan — a graduate of the University of Virginia who earned law and business degrees at Boston College — said she was inspired to jump into public service by the examples of her father, who spent nearly 40 years working in public schools, and her mother, a business owner who she said helped other small business owners.

As a young girl Sullivan recalled sitting in a hair salon owned by the president of the local NAACP and listening as women strategized on ways to address the issues facing the larger community.

“As an attorney in the private and public sectors, community service has always been at my core,” Sullivan said. “I’ve never shied away from tough issues.”

The secretary of the commonwealth’s office oversees a number of areas including elections, public records, lobbyists, the federal census every 10 years, the state archives and historical commission.

Other statewide campaigns are ramping up.

Republican Gov. Charlie Baker has announced that he won’t seek a third term in the fall. Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito has also decided against running. Two Democrats — Harvard professor Danielle Allen and state Sen. Sonia Chang-Diaz — have already announced their candidacies.

Another possible Democratic candidate, Attorney General Maura Healey, hasn’t yet said what her plans are but if she jumps in that would lead to an open race for attorney general.

Two Republicans — former state representative Geoff Diehl and Shiva Ayyadurai, who in 2020 lost a Republican nomination bid for the U.S. Senate — are also running for governor.