Charlie Baker Sees Himself ‘Working For A Long Time’

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By Katie Lannan
State House News Service

A little more than two weeks past his 65th birthday, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker said he still wants to be “working for a long time,” but did not indicate if those plans will involve a bid to keep his current job for another four years.

While Baker in a radio interview remained tight-lipped about his 2022 plans — other than to reiterate his decision will come “soon” — he did say it would be a “reasonable assumption” that if he runs for a third term, it will be as a Republican.

“I’ve been a Republican for most of my — well, almost all of my adult life, and I believe in my brand of Republicanism,” Baker said during a GBH Radio appearance. “I guess what I would say is that I’ve never run for anything based on whether or not I thought I could win, period, O.K..”

Less than a year out from the 2022 election, Baker and Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey, a Democrat, have yet to announce their intentions, while Republican Geoff Diehl and Democrats Danielle Allen, Sen. Sonia Chang-Diaz, and Ben Downing have jumped into the gubernatorial race.

A recent poll from Northwind Strategies and Change Research considered the possibility of Baker, who is often at odds with the factions of his party aligned with former President Donald Trump, running as an independent. Thirty-two percent of respondents lined up behind an unaffiliated Baker, with 26 percent choosing Healey, 21 percent picking Diehl, and another 21 percent unsure.

“I don’t sit around and say to myself, you know, can I win or not,” Baker said. “To me, the question always comes back to what I said to you before, which is do I have the will, the desire, and the agenda that I believe would be in the state’s best interest and the energy and the commitment to follow through and deliver on it.”

Baker, who announced his 2018 reelection bid in late November 2017, has been facing frequent questions about his political future. He said Monday he is getting “pretty close” to a decision and, as he has done for weeks, described the answer as “coming soon.”

Reminded by co-host Jim Braude that he also said “soon” a month ago, Baker said, “When you’re 65 years old, soon can cover a lot of territory.”

The governor turned 65 on November 13, a milestone birthday that brings with it Medicare eligibility and, for many people, thoughts of an upcoming retirement. Baker suggested that such thoughts, for him, are not a near-term consideration.

“I’ve always said that I’m one of these people who’s going to want to be purposeful and productive as long as I can be purposeful and productive,” Baker said. “I don’t have any hobbies. I don’t, I don’t — I read books, that’s probably the only hobby I have. I don’t golf, I don’t boat, I don’t fish, I don’t do any of that stuff, and my wife would lose her mind if I didn’t have something useful to do. So I have a feeling I’m going to be hopefully working for a long time.”


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