BOSTON (CBS) – Charlie Baker will not run for a third term as Massachusetts Governor in 2022, WBZ-TV’s Jon Keller has confirmed. Lt. Governor Karyn Polito will also not be running for re-election or for governor, according to Keller.

“After several months of discussion with our families, we have decided not to seek re-election in 2022. This was an extremely difficult decision for us. We love the work, and we especially respect and admire the people of this wonderful Commonwealth. Serving as Governor and Lieutenant Governor of Massachusetts has been the most challenging and fulfilling jobs we’ve ever had. We will forever be grateful to the people of this state for giving us this great honor,” Baker and Polito said in a joint statement obtained by WBZ Wednesday morning.

They also noted the impact of the pandemic on their joint decision.

“We have a great deal of work to do to put the pandemic behind us, keep our kids in school, and keep our communities and economy moving forward. That work cannot and should not be about politics and the next election. If we were to run, it would be a distraction that would potentially get in the way of many of the things we should be working on for everyone in Massachusetts. We want to focus on recovery, not on the grudge matches political campaigns can devolve into.”

Baker and Polito also cited their families in the announcement.

“Coming out of this pandemic, we are acutely aware, more than ever before, about how little we can take for granted when it comes to our family, our friends, or our time on this planet. Done right, these jobs require an extraordinary amount of time and attention, and we love doing them. But we both want to be there with Lauren and Steve and our children for the moments, big and small, that our families will experience going forward,” they wrote.

“This next year needs to be about recovery, not about politics. We are grateful for the chance we have been given to serve the people of this great state and will give it our all between now and the end of 2022.”

Former state representative Geoff Diehl, who served as co-chair for former President Donald Trump’s Massachusetts 2016 presidential campaign, announced over the summer he’d be running for the Republican nomination. Three Democrats, state Senator Sonia Chang-Diaz, former state senator Ben Downing, and Harvard professor Danielle Allen have already entered the race.

CBSBoston.com Staff