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In full transparency, the following is a media release from the Barbara lee Family Foundation submitted to SOURCE media for publication (photo from the governor’s office.)


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CAMBRIDGE – The Barbara Lee Family Foundation (BLFF) today released new research, Second in Command: The Challenges and Opportunities Facing Women Lieutenant Governors. Our research found that voters do not have strong opinions about lieutenant governors/This creates both an awareness obstacle, and an opportunity to define the role of lieutenant governor, for women in this position.  The research provides an unprecedented look at how voters perceive women running for or serving as lieutenant governor.

“As historic numbers of women serve as lieutenant governor, we expect many of them to run for governor and win,” said Barbara Lee, President and Founder of the Barbara Lee Family Foundation. “From there, the sky’s the limit—or, maybe, the Oval Office’s the limit. After all, 17 of our 45 presidents were once governors.”

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  • Second in Command shows most voters believe that women lieutenant governors are qualified to serve as governor. In our research, voters said that problem-solving and getting things done are important when it comes to a woman’s qualifications for the governorship.
  • Voters are generally not familiar with the roles and responsibilities of the lieutenant governor. Voters say they do not have much information about  lieutenant governors and what roles they may play. Voters feel they do not hear much from their lieutenant governor. This creates a blank slate for women lieutenant governors when it comes to voters’ perceptions.
  • Voters want to know about the lieutenant governor’s own individual accomplishments in office. They want to know what results lieutenant governors have achieved themselves, rather than how they may have assisted the governor. Across demographic subgroups, voters rate supporting the governor among the least important qualities of the lieutenant governor. They want to know what results the lieutenant governor has achieved, not how or what she assisted.
  • Having a prominent and active woman lieutenant governor reflects positively on the governor. A solid majority (63%) of voters say they have warm, favorable feelings about a governor who has a prominent and active woman lieutenant governor, though three in ten voters were neutral. Across gender, age, party identification, and race, majorities of voters feel warmly, and Democrats (75%) and AAPI (70%), Black (68%), and Latinx (67%) voters are most likely to say they have warm, favorable feelings about a governor who has a prominent and active woman lieutenant governor.
  • Voters are more interested in the lt. governor’s relationships with constituents than to the governor. The lt. governor’s relationship with the governor was less important to voters. It was less relevant if the governor and lt. governor were friends, or liked each other.

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The Barbara Lee Family Foundation works to advance women’s equality and representation in American politics through political research, strategic partnerships, and grants and endowments. The Foundation’s work is guided by its core belief that women’s voices strengthen our democracy and enrich our culture.

Governor Maura Healey, Lt. Governor Kim Driscoll and Attorney General Andrea Joy Campbell (Courtesy of Governor’s office)

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By editor

Susan Petroni is the former editor for SOURCE. She is the founder of the former news site, which as of May 1, 2023, is now a self-publishing community bulletin board. The website no longer has a journalist but a webmaster.