Massie considering Democratic run for governor

One-time lieutenant governor nominee says Baker has been too timid in face of Trump threats

BOB MASSIE, A veteran social justice activist who ran for lieutenant governor more than two decades ago, says he’s seriously weighing a run for governor in 2018.

“I’m giving it very strong consideration,” said Massie, a Democrat. “We are a critical moment in the history of the United States and the life of planet that requires bold action from everyone, including people who step up and represent the resistance to Trump a pathway to a new America.”

Bob Massie in Somerville

“The current governor, Charlie Baker, has dawdled on many key issues,” says Massie. “He cannot and will not stand up to Donald Trump.”

Massie, who has worked for several decades on initiatives that combine his background in business and finance with an interest in environmental and economic sustainability, announced he was considering running in a message posted to his Facebook page on Sunday night.

“We need to hold the line against the ravages of Trumpism and then set our course for the bold transformation in our politics and economy that the moment demands,” he wrote. “The current governor, Charlie Baker, has dawdled on many key issues. Recently he chose not to attend or comment on the Women’s March, not go to the airport to protest the Muslim ban, and not to appear at the massive demonstration in Copley Square in defense of our constitutional rights. He cannot and will not stand up to Donald Trump, which is completely out of line with the past history and current temperament of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.”

In an interview on Monday, the 60-year-old Somerville resident said Baker has “been far too slow to move on critical state, national, and international issues from jobs to climate change, and he has so far shown no willingness to stand up to the endless assault on our democracy and constitution that are coming from the White House.”

In 1994, Massie was the candidate for lieutenant governor on the Democratic ticket with gubernatorial nominee Mark Roosevelt. They were crushed by incumbent Republican Gov. Bill Weld and Lt. Gov. Paul Cellucci.

In 2011, Massie sought the Democratic nomination for US Senate but dropped out after Elizabeth Warren entered the race and quickly began gaining traction.

Since 2015, Massie has served as executive director of the Sustainable Solutions Lab at the University of Massachusetts Boston, which, according to its website, focuses on developing policies that are “environmentally sound, economically sustainable, and socially just.”

Jay Gonzalez, who served as administration and finance secretary under Gov. Deval Patrick, is the only declared Democratic candidate for governor. Newton Mayor Setti Warren said he is seriously considering entering the Democratic contest.

In interviews when he announced his candidacy last month, Gonzalez also sounded alarms about the Trump presidency – and sought to tie Baker to a Republican president who is deeply unpopular in Massachusetts and lost the state by a nearly 2-1 margin.

Meet the Author

Michael Jonas

Executive Editor, CommonWealth

About Michael Jonas

Michael Jonas has worked in journalism in Massachusetts since the early 1980s. Before joining the CommonWealth staff in early 2001, he was a contributing writer for the magazine for two years. His cover story in CommonWealth's Fall 1999 issue on Boston youth outreach workers was selected for a PASS (Prevention for a Safer Society) Award from the National Council on Crime and Delinquency.

Michael got his start in journalism at the Dorchester Community News, a community newspaper serving Boston's largest neighborhood, where he covered a range of urban issues. Since the late 1980s, he has been a regular contributor to the Boston Globe. For 15 years he wrote a weekly column on local politics for the Boston Sunday Globe's City Weekly section.

Michael has also worked in broadcast journalism. In 1989, he was a co-producer for "The AIDS Quarterly," a national PBS series produced by WGBH-TV in Boston, and in the early 1990s, he worked as a producer for "Our Times," a weekly magazine program on WHDH-TV (Ch. 7) in Boston.

Michael lives in Dorchester with his wife and their two daughters.

About Michael Jonas

Michael Jonas has worked in journalism in Massachusetts since the early 1980s. Before joining the CommonWealth staff in early 2001, he was a contributing writer for the magazine for two years. His cover story in CommonWealth's Fall 1999 issue on Boston youth outreach workers was selected for a PASS (Prevention for a Safer Society) Award from the National Council on Crime and Delinquency.

Michael got his start in journalism at the Dorchester Community News, a community newspaper serving Boston's largest neighborhood, where he covered a range of urban issues. Since the late 1980s, he has been a regular contributor to the Boston Globe. For 15 years he wrote a weekly column on local politics for the Boston Sunday Globe's City Weekly section.

Michael has also worked in broadcast journalism. In 1989, he was a co-producer for "The AIDS Quarterly," a national PBS series produced by WGBH-TV in Boston, and in the early 1990s, he worked as a producer for "Our Times," a weekly magazine program on WHDH-TV (Ch. 7) in Boston.

Michael lives in Dorchester with his wife and their two daughters.

Democrats are likely to try to inject Trump’s surprise election into the governor’s race at every turn, while Baker has been trying his keep the focus on the work his administration is doing in Massachusetts, not the almost daily drama of wild pronouncements from the president.

Baker has yet to announce that he is running for reelection, but is widely expected to seek a second term.

Massie said he would make a decision on entering the race by late March or early April. If he does run, Massie said, he wants to have time to start to build an organization to appear at the Democratic Party issues convention in early June.

  • Owen

    Bob’s a wonderful guy with great ideas and a remarkable history of accomplishments in the environmental realm, but Weld crushed his running mate Mark Roosevelt in the 1994 governor’s race and his 2012 Senate run basically went nowhere. Video of his 2012 debate performance is well worth studying — it was underwhelming — heavy on high-concept rhetoric and light on direct connection with voter fears and needs. I feel that there is a lot of Candidate 101 stuff he needs to do if he’s going to get traction against the savvy and pragmatic Baker, to say nothing of many seasoned and skilled Democrats in this state who may yet step forward. I think his vision and policy ideas will be fresh and compelling compared to theirs — and that would be great — but communicating them persuasively to the people he means to help is a going to be an area of growth for him.