When Kerry Healey was elected lieutenant governor of Massachusetts 2002, she and Gov. Mitt Romney represented the third Republican pair since 1991 to hold the state's highest elected offices.
With Romney stepping down at the end of the four-year term, Healey is running unopposed in the Republican primary to stretch gubernatorial control for the party to 20 years.
If Healey is successful in her bid to be governor she will be the state's first female to be elected to the office.
Born to a teacher and a real estate agent in 1961, Healey grew up in and around Daytona Beach, Fla. The family's modest income evaporated when Healey's father, Edward Murphy, had a heart attack that left him permanently disabled. During high school, Healey worked on the beach selling souvenirs. Eventually she went to Harvard College and earned a Ph.D. at Trinity College in Dublin where she studied political science and law.
While studying in Ireland she met her husband, an American named Sean Healey. The couple lived in Brooklyn Heights, N.Y. where they had two children, Alexander and Averill, before moving to Beverly, Mass. Sean Healey worked for 20 years as the president and CEO of Affiliated Managers Group. In this position he earned millions of dollars which the couple used to purchase five houses in three states.
Kerry Healey worked for 10 years at Abt Associates in Cambridge, Mass. as a law and public safety consultant. She also conducted research for the U.S. Department of Justice related to child abuse and neglect, domestic and gang violence, and the prosecution of drug crimes. She wrote four books based on her findings.
Healey made two unsuccessful bids for state representative of the 6th District, first in 1998 and then in 2002.
She served as chairwoman of the Massachusetts Republican Party for five months before being elected lieutenant governor. In that post, her focus has been on policy issues involving municipal interactions, criminal justice, homelessness and substance abuse.
Healey's politics differ in some key ways from her more conservative boss. By supporting abortion and civil unions for same-sex couples, Healey has placed herself to the center of the Romney. Some believe that this distance may prove key in helping Healey best a Democratic opponent in a blue state.
Campaign Web site: www.healeycommittee.com