As Expected, Baker Announces Re-Election Campaign

Gov. Charlie Baker, in January 2017. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)
Gov. Charlie Baker, in January 2017. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)

With a new video and a new Twitter handle, Gov. Charlie Baker and Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito on Tuesday announced they are running for re-election next year.

The decisions were widely expected.

"We've accomplished a lot together, but there's more work to do," Baker said in a tweet.

At an event in Worcester, the governor touted the state's job growth, his administration's fiscal discipline, and the state's progress in fighting the opioid epidemic as reasons he and Polito deserve another term.

The Republicans will begin to build a campaign organization over the next few months with a formal kickoff event expected in the new year, according to political adviser Jim Conroy, who managed Baker's 2014 campaign.

The governor has maintained a brisk fundraising pace. His campaign account reported a mid-November balance of just under $7 million.

That gives Baker a huge early advantage over the announced Democratic candidates, including Newton Mayor Setti Warren; former state Secretary of Administration and Finance Jay Gonzalez; and environmental activist Robert Massie.

A WBUR poll from earlier this month found Baker with leads of at least 34 percentage points in hypothetical match-ups against the three Democrats.

The poll found that Baker is viewed favorably by 67 percent of the state's voters.

And he said Tuesday he isn't concerned about turmoil in the national GOP hurting him.

"I think most voters in Massachusetts make their call based on the performance of the people who sit in the chairs that they care about here in the commonwealth," he said. "I think too many people spend too much time worrying about labels."

The Baker-Polito re-election campaign plans to open a new headquarters in Allston in early December, and Brian Wynne, the executive director of the MassGOP, will transition from the party to become the governor's campaign manager.

With reporting by WBUR's Lynn Jolicoeur, State House News Service and The Associated Press

This article was originally published on November 28, 2017.



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