By Steve LeBlanc, Associated PressBy Paula Ebben

SWAMPSCOTT, Mass. (AP) — Republican Charles Baker is vowing he’ll be the taxpayer’s “best friend” if elected governor, even as he backed away from the “no new taxes” pledge he signed during his first gubernatorial campaign.

WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Carl Stevens reports

Baker spoke to reporters Thursday outside his Swampscott home a day after formally announcing his candidacy in the 2014 race.

The former head of Harvard Pilgrim Health Care said Massachusetts should ditch a new sales tax on computer and software services and repeal a law automatically linking future gas tax hikes to increases in inflation.

But Baker said a strict no-new-taxes pledge only serves the status quo and would tie the hands of anyone trying to overhaul the state’s tax system.

Part 2 Of WBZ-TV’s Interview With Charlie Baker

Baker also promised to show a sunnier side on the campaign trail, acknowledging the difficulty he had connecting with voters in 2010.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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