By CBSBoston.com Staff

BOSTON (CBS) — A former state senator for western Massachusetts is entering the race for governor. Democrat Ben Downing, a Pittsfield native, announced Monday he is making a run for the State House in 2022.

In a campaign video, Downing stressed the need to tackle racial justice and climate change, and criticized current leadership amid the coronavirus pandemic.

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“In Massachusetts, we’ve lost a lot. People close to us, livelihoods and small businesses,” Downing said. “Those losses hurt more because they reveal how our leaders failed to build a community and an economy that works for everyone everywhere.”

Downing, a Tufts University graduate, left politics after a decade on Beacon Hill to work for a renewable energy company.

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Incumbent Gov. Charlie Baker has not yet announced if he’ll run for a third term. Danielle Allen, director of Harvard University’s Center For Ethics, is also exploring a run for governor as a Democrat.

CBSBoston.com Staff