AG Healey Adamant, Will Not Challenge Baker In 2018

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Her stardom may be on the rise nationally, but Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey insists she has no aspirations to challenge Governor Charlie Baker in 2018.

“I’m giving you the same answer that I’ve given when asked — you know, as lawyers sometimes you get in the courtroom, and you know, the other side objects and they say ‘asked-and-answered, asked-and-answered,’ that’s a little how I feel on this one,” Healey said after being posed the question during her monthly “Ask the AG” segment Tuesday on WGBH’s Boston Public Radio. “In all seriousness, I’m running for reelection.

“I think that my job as attorney general — it’s never been as important as it is now to do my job, and do my job well, and certainly we have our hands full, so that’s what I’m focused on.”

Most recently, Healey has been the subject of a glowing profile in this month’s edition of Vanity Fair. On the same day she fielded gubernatorial questions from WGBH hosts Margery Eagan and Jim Braude, a Q and A interview with Healey appeared on Esquire magazine’s website.

Healey, despite her vocal disdain for Republican President Donald Trump, has been noticeably uncritical of Baker’s Republican administration. She said nothing during Tuesday’s taping to stray from that trend.

Healey said she speaks “regularly” with Baker and added that her staff interacts “regularly” with his, “across any number of issues, whether it’s on environment and energy issues or health care.”

“Look, I think that we share an interest in making sure that Massachusetts residents and our state are protected, and I was appreciative of his support and the support of his team and agencies when it came to coming together in very quick order in the 72 hours after that executive order,” Healey said, referring to Trump’s ultimately unsuccessful attempt to halt the flow of refugees and other foreign nationals of seven Muslim-dominated countries from entering the United States.

Healey said voters “want to see us working together on issues that really are about the people and the livelihood of the folks here in this state.”

Asked to identify any instances in which Baker told her “no,” Healey deflected.

“I’m sure he’s said ‘no’ to me, and I’m sure I’ve said ‘no’ to him,” Healey said. “But what’s important is that we are having that dialogue and it’s not just he-and-I having that dialogue, but we’re having that dialogue with members of our congressional delegation, with legislative leadership and others around the state.

“… The reality is there are some things we need to account for, and certainly being very vigilant about what’s coming our way from this new federal administration is a place where I would think, regardless of party, people want us talking with one another and working together, and I’m going to continue to do just that.”

Asked if she would vote for Baker in 2018, Healey again deflected.

“Look, as I said before, I’m a Democrat, and I’m proud of the Democratic platform and policies, but I think it’s too early to be talking about the 2018 campaign.”

So far, only a handful Democrats have made serious efforts to jump into the gubernatorial waters. Jay Gonzalez, who served as the state secretary of administration and finance under former governor Deval Patrick, announced in late January he will challenge Baker. Newton Mayor Setti Warren, the first popularly-elected black mayor in Massachusetts, is also openly exploring a run.

On Tuesday, reported that Dan Wolf, a former Democratic state senator and the current boss of local airline Cape Air, is also weighing a run and has planned a series of statewide speaking engagements.  

Wolf’s first speaking appearance is slated for Thursday night in Cambridge, when he will join Warren and Gonzalez’s wife, Cindi Roy Gonzalez. The trio is slated to speak before the Cambridge Democratic City Committee, according to Politico.

An agenda posted to the committee website indicates that the meeting will be held at 7 p.m. at the Cambridge Citywide Senior Center, located at 806 Massachusetts Avenue.