Charlie Baker Won’t Seek A Third Term — And Karyn Polito Won’t Run For Governor

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There won’t be a third consecutive term for Charlie Baker.

The Republican governor of Massachusetts announced Wednesday that he will not be running for re-election next year — and lieutenant governor Karyn Polito won’t run for office, either.

“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,” Baker and Polito said in a written statement Wednesday, December 1. “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.”

Baker, 65, was first elected in 2014 and cruised to re-election in 2018.

As a socially liberal Republican, Baker tends to have high approval ratings among the general public in Massachusetts, but not among the conservative wing of his state’s party.

Right now, there are a few Republicans running for governor:  former state representative Geoff Diehl (R-Whitman), former Lowell city council candidate Darius Mitchell, and Quincy resident Kim Duffy.

On the Democratic side, former state senator Ben Downing (formerly of Pittsfield, now of East Boston), current state senator Sonia Chang-Diaz (D-Jamaica Plain), and Harvard professor Danielle Allen are all running.

There’s also speculation that Massachusetts attorney general Maura Healey, a Democrat, could run for governor, especially now that Baker isn’t seeking re-election. It’s unclear if any other Republicans will run.


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