In Democratic primary for attorney general, three well-credentialed candidates compete for the spotlight

Originally published July 4, 2022 (here)

By Emma Platoff

Boston Globe

Democrats, take your pick.

Will it be Andrea Campbell, a former Boston city councilor pledging to disrupt the cycle of poverty and incarceration that shook her family’s life?

Shannon Liss-Riordan, a legal crusader billing herself as a “private attorney general” for her decades representing workers against corporations?

Or Quentin Palfrey, a voting rights lawyer and former official in the Obama and Biden administrations, pitching himself as the race’s true progressive?

Liss-Riordan is running on her reputation as one of the nation’s most prominent labor attorneys, having represented restaurant employees, janitors, and sex workers and taken on corporations as large as Uber, Lyft, and Amazon. Working with a coalition of labor groups, she opposed a ballot measure asking Massachusetts voters to classify ride-share drivers as independent contractors, and won a major victory this month when the state’s highest court struck the question from the ballot.

Liss-Riordan’s greatest strength may be her support from organized labor, which has come out for her in force. She said she has not sought the endorsement of police unions.

Another advantage: Liss-Riordan, 53, is expected to contribute significant amounts of her own money to her campaign, as she did during her failed 2018 bid for US Senate, when she loaned herself $3 million. When required to set a spending cap for herself in this race, she chose $12 million — a threshold she said she does not expect to meet but underscores the significant resources at her disposal.

Financing her own campaign, Liss-Riordan said, means she’s “not beholden to anyone.”

“I’m going to do what I need to do to get the message out there,” she said. ”I’m not beholden to corporations. I fight corporations and I beat them.”