WASHINGTON (CBS/AP) — Gov. Charlie Baker, a moderate Republican popular with voters in heavily Democratic Massachusetts, has been re-elected to a second four-year term. Baker and Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito turned back a challenge Tuesday from Democrat Jay Gonzalez, a former state budget official, and his running mate, Quentin Palfrey.
Baker touted the state’s strong economy and low unemployment, his administration’s progress in stabilizing the state’s finances without broad tax increases, and steps taken to tackle the opioid addiction crisis.
“So here’s the good news, that collaborative, purposeful and humble approach to governing is exactly what you’re going to get from us and from our team for the next four years,” Baker told supporters Tuesday night.
He has been a frequent critic of President Donald Trump, who is unpopular in Massachusetts. But Gonzalez criticized Baker for endorsing other pro-Trump Republicans, including U.S. Senate candidate Geoff Diehl.
Campaign Manager Will Keyser told WBZ-TV, “I think the people of Massachusetts are overwhelmingly endorsed the approach that Governor Baker has brought to solving problems in this state.”
Keyser said voters have gotten to know Baker, and his bipartisan approach, in the last four years. “I think fundamentally voters understand that Governor Baker is no fan of President Trump and so a narrative that tries to draw him or tie him to Trump is not something that voters found credible,” Keyser said.
“The people of Massachusetts elected us four years ago to bring fiscal discipline, a reform-minded approach to governing, and a commitment to bipartisanship to state government,” Baker told supporters. “And today, the voters have spoken. They like what we are doing and they appreciate the way we work.”
Baker, who concluded his speech with the words “let’s rock!” acknowledged that there was more to do in his second term, on issues such as opioids, transportation, education, climate change, housing, economic development and health care.
(© Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)