Baker, Polito Won't Run in 2022
BOSTON — After months of speculation on whether Charlie Baker or Karyn Polito would run for governor next year, both have pulled out of the race.
In a statement Wednesday morning -- following the publication of an article quoting Baker allies in The Boston Globe -- the Baker-Polito campaign announced "we have decided not to seek re-election in 2022."
"This was an extremely difficult decision for us. We love the work, and we especially respect and admire the people of this wonderful Commonwealth. Serving as Governor and Lieutenant Governor of Massachusetts has been the most challenging and fulfilling jobs we’ve ever had. We will forever be grateful to the people of this state for giving us this great honor," the political team wrote in the campaign eblast.
Baker is one of the most popular governors in the nation and one of two Republican governors in New England praised for their handling of the COVID-19 pandemic. Speculation on whether Baker would run for a third term or whether the mantle would fall to Polito has been swirling for months.
In the meantime, the Berkshires' former state senator, Benjamin Downing, threw his hat in for governor while the region's current senator, Adam Hinds has announced for lieutenant governor.
"When I announced my candidacy in February of 2021, I did so not to run against Charlie Baker or any other candidate — but because I was tired of watching Beacon Hill refuse to act with urgency on the biggest challenges of our time," Downing stated in a press release. "Governor Baker's decision to not run for re-election marks an opportunity to both upend the culture of complacency on Beacon Hill and elect leadership committed to delivering much-needed change to all 351 communities in Massachusetts."
But waiting in the wings has been Attorney General Maura Healey, who has long been considered a serious Democratic candidate for governor should Baker decide against a third term.
On the other side, Republican Geoffrey G. Diehl, a former state representative from Plymouth, has announced for governor. Diehl has aligned himself with Donald Trump and been endorsed by the former president.
There had been conjecture that Baker -- who avoided using Trump's name as much as possible in his public appearances -- could be beat by Diehl in a primary if not enough unenrolled voters over to vote for him.
The Baker-Polito's campaign statement is in full below:
To Our Friends & Colleagues –
After several months of discussion with our families, we have decided not to seek re-election in 2022. This was an extremely difficult decision for us. We love the work, and we especially respect and admire the people of this wonderful Commonwealth. Serving as Governor and Lieutenant Governor of Massachusetts has been the most challenging and fulfilling jobs we’ve ever had. We will forever be grateful to the people of this state for giving us this great honor.
We have all been going through an extraordinarily difficult pandemic, and the next year will be just as important, if not more important, than the past year. We have a great deal of work to do to put the pandemic behind us, keep our kids in school, and keep our communities and economy moving forward. That work cannot and should not be about politics and the next election. If we were to run, it would be a distraction that would potentially get in the way of many of the things we should be working on for everyone in Massachusetts. We want to focus on recovery, not on the grudge matches political campaigns can devolve into.
Coming out of this pandemic, we are acutely aware, more than ever before, about how little we can take for granted when it comes to our family, our friends, or our time on this planet. Done right, these jobs require an extraordinary amount of time and attention, and we love doing them. But we both want to be there with Lauren and Steve and our children for the moments, big and small, that our families will experience going forward.
When the voters of this great Commonwealth gave us this opportunity to serve, we had plans. Lots of them. They didn’t include 30 days of snow in our first 60 days in office. Or a natural gas explosion. Or a global pandemic. But with your support, and the creativity and resilience of the people of Massachusetts, we worked through these and other unanticipated crises and events to move our state forward.
We are determined to continue to put aside the partisan playbook that dominates so much of our political landscape – to form governing partnerships with our colleagues in local government, the Legislature, and the Congressional delegation. That bipartisan approach, where we listen as much as we talk, where we focus our energies on finding areas of agreement and not disagreement, and where we avoid the public sniping and grandstanding that defines much of our political discourse, allows us to make meaningful progress on many important issues.
We’ve led the nation in battling the opioid crisis, with more to do and the resources to do it. Our energy future – the nation’s energy future – is cleaner and more cost effective because of our work on deep water offshore wind. We brought broadband to our friends and neighbors in Western Massachusetts. We’ve made historic investments in housing of all kinds, enacted a landmark law to battle our housing crisis, and anticipate using significant federal funding to level the housing playing field going forward. We secured landmark criminal justice and law enforcement reforms and successfully dealt with the decades-long stain at Bridgewater State Hospital. We have dramatically increased funding for our schools. And we cut the income tax to 5 percent and dramatically increased our Rainy Day Fund by managing the state’s fiscal affairs with discipline and care.
But today is about the future. This next year needs to be about recovery, not about politics. We are grateful for the chance we have been given to serve the people of this great state and will give it our all between now and the end of 2022.
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