Baker won’t seek a third term as Massachusetts governor

Massachusetts will be getting a new governor in 2023.

Republican Gov. Charlie Baker announced Wednesday morning he won’t seek a third term in 2022. Baker was first elected in 2014 and took office Jan. 8, 2015. His current term ends Jan. 5, 2023. Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito also will not seek an additional term.

In a letter sent to friends and colleagues and shared on the governor’s blog, Baker and Polito said they discussed the decision for several months with their families and reached the conclusion they “have decided not to seek re-election in 2022.”

The pair said the decision was “extremely difficult” and the two “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,” the letter read, adding they “will forever be grateful to the people of this state for giving us this great honor.”

Baker said his focus over the next year is recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic, keeping kids in school and focusing on community and the economy and progress in both areas in the exit from the pandemic.

“We have a great deal of work to do to put the pandemic behind us,” the letter read.

Baker said if he were to run for a third term, “it would be a distraction that would potentially get in the way of the many things we should be working on for everyone in Massachusetts.”

Baker said he wanted to maintain focus on the recovery efforts amid the pandemic, rather than “on the grudge matches political campaigns” can fall into along the way.

In the letter, Baker said the position as governor during the pandemic made him aware of “how little we can take for granted when it comes to our family, our friends, our time on this planet.”

Baker went on to say in the letter the job, when properly done, requires “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.”

Baker committed to “put aside the partisan playbook that dominates so much of our political landscape.” During his remaining time in office, the letter read, he will work to “form partnerships with our colleagues in local government, the Legislature, and the Congressional delegation.”

Citing accomplishments during his time in office, Baker pointed to the opioid crisis, where the state led the nation in the battle against the abuse of the prescription drug; the future of the state’s energy production; supporting broadband expansion in the western part of the state; and investments in housing. The governor also pointed to school funding increases, cutting the income tax and increasing the state’s rainy day fund by “managing the state’s fiscal affairs with discipline and care.”

This article was originally posted on Baker won’t seek a third term as Massachusetts governor

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