Massachusetts governor’s race ‘plays with chicken’ as Maura Healy and Charlie Baker sit on their hands

Constant reluctance from Governor Charlie Baker and Attorney General Maura Healey, both undisclosed candidates in the race for governor, has frozen funds and sidelined supporters as they wonder who screams first in the political game of chicken.

“Baker isn’t playing chicken with her, but she seems to be waiting to see what he’s going to do before she does anything,” said Daniel Mulcair, chair of political science at Salem State University.

The Democratic attorney general told the Herald on November 6. She’s still “serious” thinking about running for governor Next year, promising to make a decision ‘soon’. She had previously told reporters that the decision would come “By autumn” A self-imposed deadline that fades quickly.

Baker also had a loose relationship with the definition of the word “soon”. The word came into use in response to journalists’ questions about a third term on July 7.

Earlier this month, the famous Republican governor acted on questions about his re-election plans, saying he “doesn’t understand why you are in such a hurry to make a decision on this.”

On Monday, he sounded suspicious when the Herald reporter asked the question again.

“I can’t believe you’re asking me that question. Really?” Becker said at the opening of the shopping season in Needham. “I have talked about the matter.”

The 65-year-old described his decision as “very complicated”. Sources close to the governor say he is honestly searching for himself as he weighs the challenges of governance amid the pandemic and the burden of campaigning on the GOP ticket as the GOP blurs his identity.

“Baker is going to be beaten up in the Republican primary,” Mulcair said. What is his place in the party that has so far come to Trump? Many of the people who voted in it generally wouldn’t if Baker won because they would think ‘Why would I vote when it’s between RINO and a radical leftist?’

One A recent poll puts Baker behind Republican candidate and former Whitman Representative Jeff Dale, An outspoken supporter of Trump.

But Baker keeps up appearances. After pressing the pause fundraising button for more than a year amid the pandemic, Baker resumed fundraising this summer and has held a few events since.

But even with reporters and voters left to fend for some, critics say Baker’s campaign is unlikely to suffer from a belated decision. Even if individual donations take a big hit, the Republican Governor’s Assembly will likely fund the hugely popular incumbent again.

The group transferred at least $9.4 million directly to pro-Baker political action committees before the 2014 election, resulting in a slim victory over former attorney general Martha Coakley, according to a review of government campaign finance records. RGA donated $6.57 million to his 2018 re-election bid against Jay Gonzalez.

Mulcair said Democrats hope to regain the seat of power diminishes the longer a candidate remains without a clear front-runner.

This puts them at a disadvantage. “We’re in the final phase of early days, and the time between Thanksgiving and Christmas isn’t the best time for a campaign,” Mulcair said. “We’re moving into January and if Healey doesn’t come in at that time, it’s going to be really difficult to not only raise money but hire the staff that you need.”

Hailey flatly denied that her nomination hinged on Baker’s decision, saying she weighed “personal decisions and considerations.”

But there is no denying that donors have stayed tight as candidate fields on both sides remain incomplete.

Baker has raised just under $491,000 so far this year. At this point in the year before his last re-election, his campaign had raised more than $3.6 million in donations. Draws from other candidates are relatively small with the general election now over in less than a year. The three main announced Democratic candidates have cumulatively received $1.7 million so far this year.

Baker spent $11 million on his successful 2018 re-election campaign. His Democratic challenger, Jay Gonzalez, spent about $2.2 million on the race.

Those numbers pale in comparison to 2014 when there was an open race for governor and the six candidates spent a combined $42.3 million.

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