Around New England

Former GOP Governor Candidate Scott Lively Leaving Politics … and Massachusetts

August 22, 2019

Pastor and former Republican candidate for governor Scott Lively is planning to leave politics and leave Massachusetts.

Lively is planning to move to Memphis, Tennessee and begin a Christian university there, according to an email newsletter cited by State House News Service.

“I’m a firm believer in the idea that God arranges our lives in seasons, and I believe my season of political campaigning is over,” Lively wrote in his newsletter, according to State House News Service.

Lively, a conservative who opposes abortion and homosexuality, took an unexpectedly high portion of the Massachusetts Republican primary vote in September 2018 against Governor Charlie Baker, a fiscal moderate and social liberal. Among Republicans, Lively provided an outlet for conservatives frustrated with Baker.

Governor Charlie Baker got 174,126 votes, of 62.6 percent, to Lively’s 98,421 votes, or 35.4 percent.

(In a statistical rarity, an even number of votes were cast in the 2018 GOP primary for governor. Add up the votes for the two candidates plus write-ins and blanks, and the total comes to exactly 278,000, according to the Massachusetts Secretary of State’s office.)

Baker actually did better in the November 2018 general election than he did in the September 2018 Republican primary. Baker won 66.6 percent in the general election, to 33.1 percent for Jay Gonzalez, his Democratic challenger, according to the Massachusetts Secretary of State’s office.

Lively said he is trying to retire a $30,000 campaign debt, money he says he borrowed from his retirement fund. He is also looking for donors to his new Christian university.

Lively plans to hold a Farewell to Politics Pizza Party at 5 p.m. Thursday, September 5 at Holy Grounds Coffee House at 455 State Street in Springfield.

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