Massachusetts GOP Gov. Charlie Baker Refuses To Endorse, Campaign With Nominee Diehl

AP/Steven Senne and Winslow Townson

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Arjun Singh Contributor
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Republican Gov. Charlie Baker of Massachusetts will not endorse GOP nominee Geoffrey Diehl, per a statement from Baker’s spokesperson released on Sept. 7.

The announcement came through Jim Conroy, Baker’s former campaign manager, one day after Massachusetts held its gubernatorial primary for November’s election. Diehl, a Trump-endorsed former state representative from the 7th District, representing Plymouth, won the Republican primary with 55.7% of the vote against moderate businessman Chris Doughty, who gained 44.3% in a two-way race.

Speaking to The Hill that Conroy said that “The Governor and Lt. Governor [Karyn Polito] said months ago they don’t plan to get involved in the gubernatorial election so they can focus solely on finishing strong.” (RELATED: Two Republican Candidates Hope To Prevent ‘San Francisco On Steroids’ After The Nation’s Most Popular Governor Retires)

Baker, who in December of 2021 declined to seek re-election, was indeed previously asked about his preferred gubernatorial successor. In response to a question from GBH News’ Boston Public Radio, he said in July, “I don’t know. … I have a lot of work to do, and I have a day job.”

Diehl received the coveted endorsement of former President Donald Trump as well as the support of the Massachusetts Republican Party. Doughty, meanwhile, was seen as a more moderate candidate and was endorsed by Republican Gov. Chris Sununu of New Hampshire.

Diehl had previously run against Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren in 2018, where he lost to her with 36% of the vote.

Baker, the governor of a heavily Democratic state with a Cook Partisan Voting Index score of D+15, had frequently criticized Trump throughout his tenure. Baker previously called Trump “appalling and outrageous” during a press conference for casting doubts about the outcome of the 2020 presidential election, which was eventually won by Joe Biden.

After the storming of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, Baker said that Trump will “stain this nation’s history forever.”

Trump, for his part, has often called Baker a “RINO” – a Republican in name only – and said that he was “very selfish” during his tenure. In a statement shortly after Baker announced he would leave office in 2023, Trump said that “because I didn’t endorse him, he is incapable of getting the Republican nomination.”

Baker, a two-term Republican in Massachusetts, has been described by Politico as one of the nation’s most popular governors, with an approval rating of 67% per a Suffolk Research poll. The state Republican Party, under pro-Trump Chair Jim Lyons, has often clashed with Baker, according to WCVB-TV, a Boston-area television station.

Others, however, believe that an embrace of Trump in Massachusetts, where he won 32% of the vote in the 2020 presidential election, will doom the party’s chances of holding the gubernatorial seat. Amy Carnevale, a state GOP committeewoman who voted for Trump but supported Doughty, said in an interview that “Our party is headed off a cliff in Massachusetts by supporting candidates that are frankly unelectable.”

Diehl will face Attorney General Maura Healey, who won the Democratic primary, in November’s general election.

Neither Baker’s office nor Diehl’s campaign immediately responded to a request for comment from the Daily Caller News Foundation.

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