BOSTON (WPRI/AP) — Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker will square off against Jay Gonzalez in the race for Governor of Massachusetts.
Baker fended off a challenge Tuesday from Scott Lively, an ultraconservative minister from Springfield who called the incumbent a RINO — short for “Republican in name only.”
Baker largely ignored Lively, a staunch supporter of President Donald Trump, beyond sharply criticizing his opponent’s history of controversial anti-LGBT statements. Baker is a frequent critic of Trump’s policies.
Despite Massachusetts’ reputation as a solidly Democratic state, polling has shown Baker to be highly popular with voters throughout his first term. He credits in part his willingness to work cooperatively with Democratic leaders at the Statehouse.
Baker’s critics say he’s failed to make progress on solving key problems, such as the Boston-area’s aging and frequently unreliable public transit system, known as the T.
Gonzalez served as secretary of Administration and Finance under former Democratic Gov. Deval Patrick. He defeated longtime political activist Robert Massie in Tuesday’s primary.
Both candidates stressed a progressive agenda that included universal health care coverage, stronger protection for immigrants and increased investment for transportation and education.
Gonzalez says incumbent Republican Gov. Charlie Baker has failed to achieve tangible progress in improving the performance of the Boston-area’s aging transit system or in narrowing the state’s educational achievement gap. The 47-year-old Ohio native has lived in Massachusetts since 1998.