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On this date in 2006, Massachusetts elected the first Black to win the state's highest office in its 218-year history.
Deval Patrick defeated Lt. Gov. Kerry Healey, the Republican nominee, as well as independent Christy Mihos and Grace Ross of the Green-Rainbow Party. The victory made Patrick only the second Black governor in the nation since Reconstruction. The first, L. Douglas Wilder of Virginia, left office in 1995.
Patrick said, "I believe in a grass-roots strategy to the campaign. I believe in a grass-roots strategy to govern." "Our biggest challenge is how we transfer that energy and that excitement and willingness of people to connect and check back in into day-to-day governing and into a revived civic life."
He was a friend and would be an early supporter of president-elect Barack Obama in the 2008 election.