Gov. Deval Patrick
As the nation’s only elected governor, he withered the wave of the GOP onslaught to serve for another four years.
Gov. Deval Patrick bucked the anti-incumbent, pro-Republican trend and won a second term Tuesday with the help of some of the political advisers who hope to do the same in two years for his friend, President Barack Obama. By mid-day on election day, Kathy Gabriel of Boston explained, “We are focusing on the Black community and if the Black community comes out to vote in massive number, we will win.” Translated: Governor Deval Patrick will win a second term in Massachusetts; and he did.
As in most close races, Massachusetts was special, in addition to being an ardent supporter of President Obama, Gov. Patrick is the only elected governor currently in the United States and only the second Black man ever to be “elected” as governor of a state in the nation. (The first was L. Douglas Wilder of Virginia).
Although the race was close, his Republican challenger was long on money, but short on ideas and in outlining his top five priorities, he never mentioned jobs, education, or health care – the three top concerns of voters in the state, and in all the national surveys. According to the Boston Globe all four candidates for Governor were asked to tell voters, in their own words, the top five issues they would focus on in 2011 and Charlie Baker, the main challenger, failed to mention jobs, education and health care, showing how out of touch he was with the concerns of the Commonwealth.
“It came as no surprise, that the day before the election, Baker finally admitted that growing jobs, investing in education, and reducing the costs of health care were not priorities,” said Patrick’s Campaign Manager Sydney Asbury. “Governor Patrick has made job creation, quality education, and reducing the costs of health care the core priorities of his campaign and deserves a second term because he understands these are the issues that have been and will continue to be essential as we lead Massachusetts out of this global economic crisis.”
According to campaign information put out by the governor’s staff, under Governor Patrick’s leadership, Massachusetts led the nation in student achievement and health care coverage for the people of Massachusetts, and is creating jobs better than 46 other states this year. The state’s economy is growing at twice the rate of the rest of the country, and the unemployment rate, at 8.4%, is well below the national rate of 9.6%. “It’s no wonder Republican Charlie Baker failed to mention jobs, education and health care as his top priorities,” said Asbury. “His tax proposals would cut $2 billion from our public schools and lead to higher class sizes and massive layoffs of teachers. His refusal to support caps on premiums would lead to higher health care costs for working families and small businesses, and force many small businesses to cut jobs instead of hiring new workers.”
Gov. Patrick, a Black Democrat, with a gold-plated resume similar to Obama’s, defeated Republican Baker, a former health care executive making his first bid for office. Among the first to place congratulatory calls was the president himself, the White House said. With 91 percent of the state’s precincts reporting, Patrick had 49 percent to Baker’s 42 percent. Independent Timothy Cahill was in third place with 8 percent.
“Tonight, Massachusetts chose to look up and forward, not down and to the past,” the Governor told a crowd that greeted him with chants of “four more years!”