Baker And Gonzalez Hit The Road For Last Minute Votes

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Gov. Charlie Baker and Jay Gonzalez spent the last weekend before the election stumping for votes before they face off on Tuesday in an election that will decide who will be the state's chief executive for the next four years.

The incumbent seemed to be doing a victory lap of sorts as he worked the crowd at Woburn High School Sunday morning. The annual Senior Appreciation Breakfast was the perfect spot for the governor to do some retail politicking.

A few hundred senior citizens packed the school cafeteria — a ready-made audience for the man polls show is the nation's most popular governor, but who still needs their votes on Tuesday in order to secure himself a second term.

Ahead in the polls, and in campaign funds, Baker is still not taking anything for granted.

"I'm going to be nervous right up until the point that this whole thing gets called, because I get the fact that, in the end, whatever the polls say, the only poll that matters is the one on Election Day and voters get to decide that," said Baker.

From Woburn, Baker headed to Hyde Park, a Democratic enclave. Despite the "R" that follows his name, he is quite popular here. Tom Menino Jr., the son of the former Boston mayor, was on hand. While not formally endorsing the governor, he made it clear Baker has his support.

“As everyone knows, my family, lifelong Democrats, but it’s not about Democrat, it’s not about Republican, it’s about what’s right and what’s wrong, plain and simple, what’s right, what’s wrong, and this man is doing everything that’s right for us,” said Menino.

While Baker was in Boston, his challenger Gonzalez was trying to fire up supporters in a Worcester storefront that serves as the Democratic Party's central Massachusetts coordinated campaign office.

The hundred or so volunteers were enthusiastic, but were more eager to have their photos taken with Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who was undoubtedly the big draw.

Despite being the underdog, Gonzalez remains optimistic he can pull out a win.

"What we need to do is what we're doing right now — firing up a lot of people who are fired up knocking on doors making calls talking to their friends and neighbors getting out the vote making sure people understand the choice in this election and I'm telling you what we're seeing at events like this and all over this state is a ton of enthusiasm for the Democratic ticket up and down the ticket, including for the governor's office," said Gonzalez.

Supporters who were on hand, including Worcester state Rep. Mary Keefe, acknowledge Gonzalez has a rough road to hoe.

"And you know the other night I heard the debate. I watched it the next morning and I was like wow, so right on. I wish it had come 10 months earlier. You know but we'll see how he does. I'm hoping I'm hoping he does really well," Keefe said.

Both camps will be making their final get-out-the-vote efforts throughout the day Monday. Polls open across Massachusetts Tuesday, from 7 a.m. until 8 p.m.

With reporting from WBUR's Simón Rios

This segment aired on November 5, 2018.


Steve Brown Senior Reporter/Anchor
Steve Brown is a veteran broadcast journalist who serves as WBUR's senior State House reporter.



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