For the first time in two decades, Massachusetts’ most influential newspaper has endorsed a Republican candidate for governor.
On Sunday, The Boston Globe stated that, “to provide consistently good results, especially for the state’s most vulnerable and troubled residents, agencies need to focus on outcomes, learn from their errors, and preserve and replicate approaches that succeed… And in that spirit, the Globe endorses Charlie Baker for governor.”
A former health-care executive, Baker has also served under two Republican governors. He was the Health and Human Services director under Bill Weld — the last Republican to receive a Globe endorsement — and secretary of administration and finance for Weld’s successor, Paul Cellucci.
Throughout his campaign, Baker has demonstrated a commitment to extending Governor Deval Patrick’s “long-elusive” education and public health reforms, and his split with the Republican party over social issues — including gay marriage and abortion — has steadily built his popularity in the liberal-leaning state.
On the other hand, Martha Coakley — the Democratic candidate and current Mass. attorney general — has promised to maintain the ideals and policies of Patrick’s administration, but lacks the charisma and rhetorical skills the current governor used to win the 2010 election.
Perhaps most importantly, the conservative Baker would provide the strongest check against the heavily progressive, Democratic majorities in both the state Senate and House: “He would have no choice but to work constructively with the Legislature. Likewise, the Legislature would have to engage with Baker’s initiatives.”
In past elections, The Globe has only backed Republican candidates in anticipation of landslide victories; Bill Weld crushed Mark Roosevelt in the 1994 election, garnering nearly 71% of the popular vote in the process. While Globe polls list Baker as 9 points ahead of Coakley, Real Clear Politics still has the race listed as a “toss-up.”
Additionally, Baker’s backing marks the first Republican endorsement since Boston-billionaire John Henry bought The Globe in 2013.
Despite the news of Baker’s endorsement, Coakley remains optimistic about her chances in next week’s election.
An email statement from her campaign claimed that while both candidates have received several endorsements from various organizations, “the only endorsement that matters is the endorsement of the people of Massachusetts on Nov. 4.”