EAST BOSTON, Mass. (NEWS10) — Citing the need to build a fairer, stronger Massachusetts, former state senator Ben Downing announced Monday morning that he is entering the 2022 race for governor.

Born and raised in Pittsfield, Downing was one of the youngest state senators elected in Massachusetts history. When he was elected in 2006, he was 24-years-old. After serving 10 years on Beacon Hill, Downing stepped down in 2017 to work full-time in renewable energy.

In a video released to supporters this morning, Downing laid out his experience, perspective, and rationale for entering the race.

“Growing up in Pittsfield, I lived what it meant to be an afterthought in the state’s political power circles,” said Downing. “Now, as an East Boston resident, I’m part of a new community just as familiar with being written off. From one side of Massachusetts to the other, I have spent my life in communities that have had to fight harder than they should to get fair representation, equitable access to resources, and attention from Beacon Hill. So I know what a difference state leadership makes. And I know we need better than what we are getting right now.”

Downing continues: “I’m running for Governor to build a fairer, stronger Massachusetts. I believe there is no limit to what we can accomplish here. But the leadership needed to unlock this potential is sorely lacking. As we recover and reimagine our future in the months and years to come, we need a Governor who sees, feels and understands the gravity of this moment and how we got here; who is not content with accumulating power but who is ready to use that power to respond boldly to the dire impacts of the pandemic, rising racial inequality, and the urgency of climate change.”

As a state senator, Downing represented the largest district in the state, which encompasses 52 cities and towns. While in office, he led legislative efforts to accelerate clean energy development and respond to climate change, rebuild urban and rural economies, reduce poverty and hunger, strengthen our state ethics laws, and expand protections for transgender individuals. 

Downing lives in East Boston with his wife, Micaelah Morrill, and their two sons Malcolm, 3, and Eamon, 9 months.