Photo by Dwight Burdette | CC BY-SA 3.0

Gov. Charlie Baker is not merely waiting to announce whether he will seek a third term in office next year, he said Tuesday, as he described the decision as “a very complicated issue … for all kinds of reasons.”

During a portion of a GBH Radio interview that got slightly testy Tuesday, co-host Jim Braude asked the governor what happened to his plan of taking the summer to talk about reelection with his family and announcing a decision at some point after Labor Day.

“I do remember that,” Baker said, “And we are post-Labor Day…and we’ll make a decision soon.”

When Braude asked Baker directly whether he has made a decision, the governor responded, “It’s a very complicated issue, Jim, for all kinds of reasons.” Baker then rejected Braude’s assertion that “it sounds like you’ve made a decision and you just don’t, you’re not yet ready to announce it.”

Braude, who has made a habit of asking Baker about reelection each time the governor appears on his show, then seemed to annoy the governor by asking why the decision is a complicated one.

“Are you serious?” Baker said before saying that some of the many considerations “are professional and some are personal.”

“Let’s put it this way: Anybody who makes a decision about something like this without thinking really hard about it isn’t doing themselves, their families or the communities they want to serve any favors because you’re signing up for something that is hugely important,” Baker, who has made the decision to run for governor in 2010, 2014 and 2018, said. “And it comes with an enormous amount of opportunity, and at the same time, tremendous challenges, many of which you don’t get to know about in advance.”

If Baker opts to seek a third term next year, he will have to face former Rep. Geoff Diehl in a Republican primary and, if successful, would face whichever Democrat emerges from a field that so far includes Sen. Sonia Chang-Diaz, former Sen. Ben Downing and Harvard professor Danielle Allen.

Though Baker frequently bemoans the lack of civility in politics, especially at the national level, he responded last month to a question from WBZ’s Jon Keller about whether he feels burnt out by the job by saying how excited he is to put American Rescue Plan Act money to use. During that interview, Baker even offered a brief sketch of what his third-term priorities could be.

“I think certainly the housing crisis would have to be right near the top of the list,” Baker said when Keller asked what his goals for a third term would be if he opts to run. The governor added, “You talk to anybody who’s a working person about what the hardest and most difficult part about living in the commonwealth is and almost all of them will talk about how expensive it is to live here. The average price of a house in Massachusetts is now around $500,000, right. Rentals in many cases for one bedrooms are somewhere in the vicinity of $1,500 to two grand in many parts of Massachusetts. This is, in some ways, an existential challenge for us … We’re going to drive a lot of what our next generation is all about out of here. I happen to think that probably should be and would be our highest priority.”

Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito is seen as a potential gubernatorial candidate should Baker decide that three campaigns (2010, 2014 and 2018) for the corner office are enough. But twice during the interview with Keller, he suggested the decision about 2022 was a joint one.

As the interview wrapped up, Keller asked if Polito is “ready to be a successful candidate for governor.”

Baker responded by touting her work on the state’s COVID-19 reopening plan and her close relationships and partnerships with municipal officials, and saying she is a valuable partner and ally.

“She would be a terrific statewide candidate, absolutely,” Baker said.

Baker Calls Reelection Choice ‘Very Complicated Issue’

by State House News Service time to read: 3 min
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