ATTORNEY GENERAL Maura Healey, a Democrat who many believe is preparing a run for governor, issued a statement on Wednesday calling Gov. Charlie Baker a “valued partner,” while two of the three announced Democratic candidates for governor took a more combative tone in their statements on the departure of the Republican incumbent.
Baker and Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito announced they would not seek re-election next year, a decision that puts their moderate-centrist base of support up for grabs. The statement issued by Healey praised Baker and seemed designed to appeal to his base.
“I want to thank Governor Baker for his service to this state,” Healey said in her statement. “He has been a valued partner to my office and to me. I have deep regard and respect for the way he has led, with a commitment to doing what is right on behalf of the people of the Commonwealth. I also appreciate that, in this time of divisiveness and challenge, he has always been willing to listen and make his own calls with a focus on respect and finding common ground. Governor Baker should be proud of his record of service to Massachusetts and the country, and I am grateful to call him a friend.”
Two of the announced Democratic candidates for governor — Sen. Sonia Chang-Diaz and former senator Ben Downing — issued statements critical of the governor and focused on the need to move on from the Baker-Polito era.
“The people of Massachusetts are ready for a new chapter with new leadership,” Chang-Diaz said in her statement. “For far too long, people in power have asked working families to wait for change — despite a growing affordable housing crisis, inaccessible and expensive child and health care, the existential threat of climate change, and long-standing racial injustice. In 2022, our next governor must be someone willing to take on challenges even when they’re hard — who recognizes the urgency of this moment, who tackles these issues with the courage to solve them, and who has a record of winning bold, systemic change on Beacon Hill. I’m proud to be building a grassroots movement across age, class, and faith to put power back in the hands of the people and to elect a governor who’s not afraid to fight for our values.”
Downing similarly indicated that Baker was part of a problem on Beacon Hill that needs fixing,
“Governor Baker’s decision to not run for re-election marks an opportunity to both upend the culture of complacency on Beacon Hill and elect leadership committed to delivering much-needed change to all 351 communities in Massachusetts,” Downing said. “I’m in this race because I believe the future of Massachusetts is limitless, but we cannot afford to wait to tackle our biggest challenges head on. “From the campaign trail to the corner office, it is long past time we had a renewed sense of urgency and empathy from our governor.”
The third announced Democratic candidate for governor, Danielle Allen, took a different tone in her statement. She thanked Baker and Polito “for their dedication to our well-being” and said “we should all be grateful that they stepped forward to lead.” Allen also said the departure of Baker and Polito “means status quo is not an option,” which “is both a challenge and an opportunity.”
The remainder of Allen’s statement talked about her vision for the state and her determination to make progress on what she called “the basic building blocks of a green and healthy democracy, and a health life.”