Massachusetts GOP Governor Charlie Baker won't seek third term

Baker has been in office since 2014

Updated: December 1, 2021 - 10:25am

Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker (R) will announce Wednesday that he is not seeking a third term in the governor's mansion in 2022.

Baker was elected in 2014, narrowly defeating then-Attorney General Martha Coakley (D) to become the Republican governor of one of the country's bluest states. His first run for the governorship ended in narrow defeat in 2010 against Democrat Deval Patrick.

A former corporate executive, Baker's time in office in Massachusetts has been characterized by a notable lack of controversy and insertion into national political issues. He responded to the onset of the coronavirus pandemic with aggressive lockdown measures that some of his fellow Republican Governor colleagues were resistant to install. For those decisions, he earned scorn from conservatives and praise from liberals.

Baker remains well liked among his constituents – a recent poll showed a 56% approval rating – but, he may have trouble earning the consistent support of his own party. As a national Republican, Baker became one of the foremost outspoken critics of former President Donald Trump. He supported the first impeachment inquiry and called for Trump to be removed from office following January 6.

By taking himself out of the race, Baker opens the door for Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito and state Treasurer Deb Goldberg (both Republicans) to run for his seat – either would be the first woman to be elected to the office. But, Baker's announcement also gives Democrats a more than solid chance of winning back a fairly deep Blue state that has an enigmatic habit of electing Republican governors.