Charlie Baker To Geoff Diehl:
With You All The Way

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By Katie Lannan
State House News Service

Governor Charlie Baker on Thursday reiterated his intent to vote for Republican U.S. Senate candidate Geoff Diehl, a day after first saying he hadn’t decided how he’d vote and later telling reporters he misspoke.

In a debate Wednesday with his Democratic challenger Jay Gonzalez, Baker said he did not yet know how he would vote in the race between Diehl, a state representative from Whitman, and U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren. Afterwards, he told reporters he “simply misspoke” in the “back-and-forth,” and would vote for Diehl and the rest of the Republican ticket in Massachusetts.

“Look, I’ve supported candidates over the years that I didn’t agree with on everything, Democrats and Republicans,” Baker said Thursday, according to a MassLive video, when asked about his support for Diehl, with whom he differs on issues including women’s reproductive rights and support for President Donald Trump.

Asked to name an area where he agrees with Diehl, Baker pointed to Diehl’s successful push four years ago for a voter repeal of a plan to index the gas tax to inflation, an issue Baker advocated for when he ran for governor in 2014.

“One of the things that Geoff and I worked together on in 2014 was to support the referendum to roll back the automatic increase in the gas tax, which the voters in Massachusetts voted overwhelmingly to support, but as I said before, I made my position clear on this last night,” he said. “I think it’s interesting that my opponent continues to want to talk about the Senate race instead of what’s going on here in Massachusetts and I think that’s in large part because things in Massachusetts are actually going quite well for a vast majority of the people here.”

President Trump and Republicans nationally are trying to hold control over the U.S. House and Senate, while Democrats are working to make big advances in the Tuesday, November 6 election after losing control of the White House in the last election.

Massachusetts depends heavily on the federal government for funding and to partner in a variety of government programs and services, and the evolving state-federal relationship has come into sharper focus during the Trump administration.

Warren has led Diehl by wide margins in polling and the two plan to meet Friday in the first of three debates.