Baker pulls switcheroo in Taunton
Sometimes Mr. Fix-it becomes more of a fixer.
Gov. Charlie Baker was the latter on Monday when he appointed Taunton Mayor Thomas Hoye Jr. as the interim register of probate in Bristol County. Less than an hour later, Republican state Rep. Shauna O’Connell of Taunton announced a run for mayor.
The switcheroo appeared to catch everyone except those involved by surprise. As recently as Thursday, Hoye, who faced no opponent, said he was planning to run for reelection as mayor. He said he was waiting for an aide to return from vacation before he filed his nomination papers.
With the deadline for filing nomination papers 5 p.m. today, O’Connell is likely to be the only candidate for mayor, although candidates need only 25 signatures to make a run. The election for mayor will take place in November.
Gus Bickford, the chair of the Massachusetts Democratic Party, condemned Baker’s decision to time Hoye’s appointment so Taunton mayoral candidates would have only one day to take the necessary steps to run. He called the move “undemocratic and the kind of tactic preferred by dictators.”
“It should come as no surprise that minutes after Baker’s announcement, his right-wing ally released a prepared statement announcing her candidacy for the mayor’s office,” Bickford said in a statement. “These kinds of backroom deals disenfranchise voters and undermine our electoral process.”
Baker is not averse to backroom deals, but they don’t always go as planned. Last year, then-Berkshire County district attorney David Capeless stepped down 10 months early and Baker appointed his top aide, Paul Caccaviello, as the interim DA. Capeless, who took out nomination papers to keep everyone guessing, acknowledged he stepped down to give his aide the benefit of incumbency heading into the election. They plan went awry when Andrea Harrington defeated Caccaviello.
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Methuen Mayor James Jajuga accused City Councilor James McCarty of breaking into the city clerk’s office while election papers are being collected, but later chalked that up to a mistaken identity. (Eagle-Tribune)
Gladys Vega, executive director of the Chelsea Collaborative, said the mass murder in El Paso has raised a new level of fear among immigrants in Chelsea. (WBUR)
To qualify for disaster aid following three tornados last month, Cape towns had to incur about $9.6 million in storm-related costs. The affected towns are currently reporting their initial estimates to the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency. (Cape Cod Times)
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A Waltham company is supplying DNA test kits to ICE for verifying family relationships among immigrants along the border with Mexico. (CommonWealth)
Could the trade war President Trump is waging with China set off a recession? (Boston Globe)
Pyramid Cos., the owner of the Holyoke Mall, sells off two chunks of the property. (MassLive)
Ruth’s Chris Steak House plans to open a restaurant in the Mercantile Center in Worcester. (Telegram & Gazette)
Fall River officials and contractor I.W. Harding Construction held an initial meeting over whether the city owes the West Bridgewater-based company another $1.1 million for a streetscape and sewer project. (Herald News)
A school shuttered seven years ago in Fairhaven has been bought by New England Preservation & Development which intends on turning the main building into a 14-unit condominium complex. (Standard-Times)
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Daily Item columnist Steven Krause says arts and culture are changing the narrative of Lynn.
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A passenger on Brockton Area Transit Authority bus attacked the bus driver, causing the vehicle to crash. The passenger was apparently upset after learning the bus wouldn’t stop in Randolph. (MetroWest Daily News)
The Telegram & Gazette tries to investigate the state of reverse commuting (people traveling to Worcester from points east, including Boston), but ends up with a bunch of random anecdotes because the commuter rail system has no way of tracking riders.
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Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont wants the state’s two Indian tribes to drop their plans for an East Windsor casino (to stem losses to the MGM casino in Springfield) in return for legalized sports betting, a new casino in Bridgeport, and the ability to add gambling at the XL Center in Hartford. (MassLive)
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