Breaking: Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker Will Not Seek Third Term
We've been waiting for an official announcement on Governor Charlie Baker's political intentions in 2022, and that came this morning. Baker, who was first elected to the state's highest office in 2015 and then re-elected in 2018, announced in a letter to his supporters and friends alike that he would not be seeking a third term in office.
As part of the same letter, Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito also announced that she is also not running. In the letter, Baker and Polito called their decision a difficult one to make. The governor also touted the accomplishments that the administration was able to achieve for the eight years running Massachusetts, including of course, steering the state through the COVOD-19 pandemic.
Here is the letter sent by the administration this morning, full and unedited:
To Our Friends & Colleagues –
After several months of discussion with our families, we have decided not to seek re-election in 2022. This was an extremely difficult decision for us. We love the work, and we especially respect and admire the people of this wonderful Commonwealth. Serving as Governor and Lieutenant Governor of Massachusetts has been the most challenging and fulfilling jobs we’ve ever had. We will forever be grateful to the people of this state for giving us this great honor.
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. 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.
Coming out of this pandemic, we are acutely aware, more than ever before, about how little we can take for granted when it comes to our family, our friends, or our time on this planet. Done right, these jobs require an extraordinary amount of time and attention, and we love doing them. But we both want to be there with Lauren and Steve and our children for the moments, big and small, that our families will experience going forward.
When the voters of this great Commonwealth gave us this opportunity to serve, we had plans. Lots of them. They didn’t include 30 days of snow in our first 60 days in office. Or a natural gas explosion. Or a global pandemic. But with your support, and the creativity and resilience of the people of Massachusetts, we worked through these and other unanticipated crises and events to move our state forward.
We are determined to continue to put aside the partisan playbook that dominates so much of our political landscape – to form governing partnerships with our colleagues in local government, the Legislature, and the Congressional delegation. That bipartisan approach, where we listen as much as we talk, where we focus our energies on finding areas of agreement and not disagreement, and where we avoid the public sniping and grandstanding that defines much of our political discourse, allows us to make meaningful progress on many important issues.
We’ve led the nation in battling the opioid crisis, with more to do and the resources to do it. Our energy future – the nation’s energy future – is cleaner and more cost-effective
because of our work on deep water offshore wind. We brought broadband to our friends and neighbors in Western Massachusetts. We’ve made historic investments in housing of all kinds, enacted a landmark law to battle our housing crisis, and anticipate using significant federal funding to level the housing playing field going forward. We secured landmark criminal justice and law enforcement reforms and successfully dealt with the decades-long stain at Bridgewater State Hospital. We have dramatically increased funding for our schools. And we cut the income tax to 5 percent and dramatically increased our Rainy Day Fund by managing the state’s fiscal affairs with discipline and care.
But today is about the future. This next year needs to be about recovery, not about politics. We are grateful for the chance we have been given to serve the people of this great state and will give it our all between now and the end of 2022.
Charlie Baker and Karyn Polito