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Kerry Murphy Healey

In office
January 3, 2003 – January 4, 2007
Governor W. Mitt Romney
Preceded by Jane Swift
Succeeded by Timothy P. Murray

Born April 30, 1960 (1960-04-30) (age 49)
Omaha, Nebraska
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Sean Healey
Residence Beverly, Massachusetts
Alma mater Harvard University
Trinity College, Dublin

Kerry Murphy Healey (born April 30, 1960) was the 70th Lieutenant Governor of Massachusetts. She served from 2003 to 2007 with Governor Mitt Romney. She was the 2006 Republican nominee for Governor of Massachusetts, losing to Democrat Deval Patrick in November 2006.


Personal life

Healey was born in Omaha, Nebraska and grew up in Daytona Beach, Florida. Her mother, Shirley (Cumming) Murphy (b. 1926) worked as a schoolteacher, and her father, Edward Murphy (1919-2005), was a World War II veteran, later disabled by a heart attack and unable to work. Healey attended Harvard University, graduating with a bachelor's degree in government in 1982. She also earned a Ph.D. in political science and law from Trinity College, Dublin in Ireland.

In 1985, she married Sean Healey, a multi-millionaire businessman worth over $100 million USD;[1] they have two children, Alexander (b. 1991) and Averill (b. 1995).

Political career

Healey's political career began in the late 1990s when she unsuccessfully challenged Democratic incumbent Michael Cahill to represent the 6th Essex District in the Massachusetts House of Representatives. She then served briefly as chairperson of the Massachusetts Republican State Committee.

She was elected in 2002 as Lieutenant Governor on the Republican ticket with Mitt Romney.

After Governor Mitt Romney's announcement that he would not seek re-election in the 2006 election Healey formally announced on February 8, 2006, that she would seek the Republican nomination for Governor. Healey and her running mate Reed Hillman received the endorsement of the Republican state convention nomination for Governor and Lieutenant Governor, and were the only Republican candidates in the September 19 primary. On November 7, Healey was defeated by Democrat Deval Patrick by 21 percentage points.

On August 28, 2009, The Boston Globe reported that Healey was considering running in the special election for the US Senate seat formerly held by Edward M. Kennedy.[2]

On September 7, 2009, Healey decided not to run for the vacant post.


During the 2006 Democratic primaries, Healey launched an attack ad against potential opponent Chris Gabrieli that said Gabrieli only supported state funded stem cell research because he owns stock in companies that would profit from stem cell research. Gabrieli said that none of the companies he is invested in have ever done stem cell research, claiming the ads were untrue[3]. While a company founded by Chris Gabrieli, Isis Pharmaceuticals, has not gone beyond the patent process, it is one of the world’s leading patent holders in stem cell research[4][5].

Following the primaries, a TV ad by Healey criticized her gubernatorial rival Deval Patrick for serving as the lawyer for the killer of a Florida highway patrol officer gunned down on a rural road. In 1985, Patrick, then a lawyer for the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, worked to reverse the death sentence imposed on killer Carl Ray Songer. “Her approach is to protect the victims and Deval Patrick’s approach is always to protect convicted criminals,” said Healey’s campaign manager Tim O’Brien. Now, under Florida law, Songer is eligible for parole.[6]

The "Cop Killer" campaign ad was featured on a segment of the Opie and Anthony radio show about negative campaign ads. The ad was criticized on the air for its lack of information about the case. She also criticized Patrick for having written to the Massachusetts Parole Board on behalf of Benjamin LaGuer, who proclaims innocence for a 1983 sexual assault, and for corresponding with the inmate. During the heat of the campaign two unidentified men visited LaGuer in prison and allegedly offered him $100,000 if would turn that correspondence over to them[7].

Critics of Healey's ad argued that it confused the proper role of criminal defense lawyers in the judicial system. Patrick argued that Songer hadn’t been sentenced fairly because he wasn’t able to present evidence of his good character during the sentencing hearing. “The federal appeals court agreed with him that [Songer’s] death sentence violated the Constitution of the United States,” said Patrick spokesman Richard Chacon in a statement. Patrick’s campaign also pointed out that Healey’s running mate, Reed Hillman, lobbied a parole board on behalf of friend James W. Mitchell, who was accused of assaulting a police officer.[8]

Deval Patrick also criticized Healey's campaign for leaking details of the 1993 rape of Patrick's sister by her husband. The Healey's campaign denied any involvement in the leak, and in turn accused Patrick of initiating a "smear campaign" over the issue[9].

Electoral history

  • 1998 campaign for 6th Essex State Representative District
    • Rep. Michael Cahill (D), 66%
    • Kerry Healey (R), 34%
  • 2000 campaign for 6th Essex State Representative District
    • Rep. Michael Cahill (D), 60%
    • Kerry Healey (R), 36%


Political offices
Preceded by
Jane Swift
Lieutenant Governor of Massachusetts
January 2, 2003 – January 4, 2007
Succeeded by
Timothy P. Murray
Party political offices
Preceded by
W. Mitt Romney
Massachusetts Republican Party gubernatorial candidate
Most recent


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