Baker, Healey watch as field for governor forms
Governor holding fundraiser tonight with Polito
ANOTHER DAY, another candidate in the race for Massachusetts governor not named Baker. Or Healey, for that matter.
With today’s campaign launch by Sen. Sonia Chang-Diaz, three Democrats have now formally announced bids for the state’s top job. The Jamaica Plain lawmaker joins former Senate colleague Ben Downing and Harvard professor Danielle Allen in the race for the Democratic nomination.
On the Republican side, former state rep Geoff Diehl seems to be gearing up for a potential run.
While the race starts to heat up, the campaign is missing the two would-be marquee candidates with proven statewide appeal.
Baker, meanwhile, has brushed off questions about whether he’ll seek a third term, suggesting his answer will come later this year.
That’s left prognosticators to pore over fundraising reports for any breadcrumbs pointing toward what Baker may do.
Lately, that has meant remarking on his anemic numbers, with $41,000 in donations in January representing the high water mark for Baker’s monthly receipts so far in 2021. In May, he seemed to be raising money at the rate of Chicopee city councilor, with a total haul of just $3,400, his lowest monthly total of the year.
But June seems likely to show a reversal of those declining monthly fortunes: Baker and Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito are slated to appear at a joint in-person fundraiser after work today at the UMass Club in downtown Boston.
Intriguingly, the invitation notes that the maximum contribution to the Polito committee is $1,000 per person and $2,000 per couple per calendar year. “If you have already contributed the maximum amount to the Polito committee,” it continues, “the Baker committee is also able to receive $1,000 per person/$2,000 per couple per calendar year.”
At first blush, the fine print seems to offer some clues about campaign plans, with donations to Baker framed more as a fallback for those who have maxed out to his lieutenant governor. But there’s actually less to it than meets the eye.
If Baker and Polito run for reelection, they can draw on funds from both of their campaign accounts, but if Baker bows out and Polito runs for governor, his account would be off-limits to her. In other words, having the default for donations be to give to her account simply keeps their options open — it doesn’t necessarily signal that Baker is out.
Healey, meanwhile, has a cool $3 million on hand.
The dough show is impressive, but what matters of course is whether they jump in the mix and run.
Some speculate that Healey would be eager to run in an open race, but less keen to take on Baker. For his part, Baker may already have made up his mind but decided either way that it’s better to delay an announcement, reducing the time that he’s either a lame duck or a full-on target for Democrats.While the heavyweights dither, give points to Chang-Diaz, Downing, and Allen for getting in the ring and starting to make their respective cases to voters.