Candidate Profiles: Jay McMahon and Maura Healey

Abi McMahon, Journalist

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Democrat Maura Healey is running against Republican Jay McMahon for the position of Massachusetts Attorney General in the 2018 election.

The Attorney General is responsible for representing the state in which they hold office in legal matters and providing legal opinions for the heads of executive departments within that state.


Maura Healey (D)

Healey was elected Attorney General in the 2014 election, and has overseen the office for seven years. She was the Chief of the Civil Rights Division and directed the Public Protection & Advocacy and Business & Labor Bureaus. Additionally, she was a prosecutor in Middlesex County and litigation partner at WilmerHale, a law firm in Boston. She majored in government at Harvard and studied law at Northeastern.


On The Issues:

LGBT+ Issues

Healey, our first openly homosexual Attorney General, has a record of voting in favor of the LGBT+ community and states that she has an “unmatched record of leadership and advocacy on behalf of the LGBT community.” She also successfully developed a challenge to the Defense of Marriage Act, an act that allowed states to refuse to recognize same-sex marriage on the grounds that marriage was between a man and a woman.



Healey believes all people deserve quality, affordable health care, including mental health care. In addition to working to dramatically lower the costs of health care for everyone, Healey passed the Patient Safety Act in 2017, an act that limited the number of patients a nurse can be assigned.



Healey’s record of suing the Trump Administration multiple times shows that she generally disagrees with their policies on education. In 2017, Healey sued Education Secretary Betsy DeVos over Devos’ decision to abandon protections for students who receive loans against for-profit schools.



Healey supports immigration and the protection of immigrants. She advocates for cities adopting sanctuary city status, saying “sanctuary city” is a political term, and for most cities is simply a “value statement.” She says the Trump administration’s border control policy, in which immigrant families are being separated, is inhumane. Healey also claims that the Trump administration’s order to remove federal funding from sanctuary cities is irresponsible.


Gun Control

Healey generally supports stricter gun control. She wants to reduce gun violence and make it harder to obtain illegal and/or untraceable guns by shutting down the gun show and other private sales methods, providing only public gun sales.



Healey believes a woman’s right to make her own decision about her own body is fundamental and that access to reproductive health care, including access to birth control, should be safe  and easy. She supports the expansion of access to abortion services for women and opposes mandatory waiting periods.


Jay McMahon (R)

McMahon has been an attorney at law since 1988, and has practiced law for over 30 years. He also served in the US Military and owned and operated a private business. He studied law at Suffolk University Law School and also went to the University of Massachusetts and Cape Cod Community College.


On The Issues:

LGBT+ Issues

McMahon generally does not vote in favor of the LGBT+ community. He opposes Question 3, the Gender Identity Anti-Discrimination Referendum, which prohibits gender discrimination in public spaces and allows transgender people to use the bathroom they identify with. He claims it “doesn’t go far enough” in protecting women from sexual predators. He also believes issues such as same-sex marriage should be left up to the states, but states that he would not try to change the bill enforced on every state, as it is “law of the land.”



McMahon does not support sanctuary cities. He wishes to put an end to them and illegal immigration. He supports President Trump’s travel ban, and believes that all immigrants with criminal records deserve prosecution.


Gun Control

McMahon has stated that, if he wins the election, he plans to uphold Massachusetts’ ban on assault weapons, though he doesn’t personally agree with it.



Like LGBT+ issues of same-sex marriage, McMahon believes issues of abortion should be left up to the states. However, he has stated he would not try to change the law, as it is “law of the land.”



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“Jay McMahon MassGOP Endorsed Republican Candidate Massachusetts Attorney General.”, Jay McMahon. 08 Oct. 2017,

Levenson, Michael. “Healey and Republican Opponent Clash Over Virtually Every Issue in Their First Debate.”, The Boston Globe, 03 Oct. 2018. 08 Oct. 2018,

Norton, Michael P. “McMahon Wins Republican Primary for Attorney General.” The Patriot Ledger,, 05 Sep. 2018. 08 Oct. 2018,

Schoenberg, Shira. “AG Candidate Jay McMahon Wants ‘Extreme Prosecution’ for Drug Crimes.”,, 23 Aug, 2018. 08 Oct. 2018,

Sherman, Eli. “Maura Healey, Jay McMahon Face Off in Attorney General Debate.” The Patriot Ledger,, 04 Oct. 2018. 08 Oct. 2018,

“AG Healey Statement on President Trump’s Executive Order to Remove Federal Funding From Sanctuary Cities.” Attorney General Maura Healey,, 25 Jan. 2017. 07 Oct. 2018,

“Attorney General (State Executive Office).” BallotPedia, 07 Oct. 2018,

Dumcius, Gintautas. “‘Sanctuary City’ is a ‘Political Term’ and ‘Values’ Statement for Communities, Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey Says.”,, 20 April 2017. 07 Oct. 2018,

Fernandes, Deirdre. “Healey, Other AGs Sue DeVos Over Student Loan Rules.”, The Boston Globe, 06 July, 2017. 07 Oct. 2018,

“Healey Joins Democratic Attorneys General in Urging End to ‘Inhumane’ Border Separations.”, CBS Boston, 19 June 2018. 07 Oct. 2018,

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“Safe Patient Limits Ballot Initiative Certified by Attorney General; Measure will Protect Patients and Improve Care in Massachusetts Hospitals”. Massachusetts Nurses Association, 09 June 2017. 07 Oct. 2018,