Josh Goodman is a former staff writer for GOVERNING..E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
A few weeks ago, I wondered what Charlie Baker, a health care executive and much-touted Massachusetts Republican gubernatorial candidate, would say about gay marriage. Now we know.
From the Boston Globe:Baker said he supports abortion rights and same-sex marriage, adding: "My brother's gay, and he's married, and he lives in Massachusetts, so I'm for it. Is that straight enough?"
When the Massachusetts Supreme Court legalized gay marriage in 2004, the ruling was hugely controversial. Next year, though, it appears nearly certain that the state will elect a governor who supports same-sex nuptials.
The other Republican candidate for governor, Christy Mihos, also is in favor. Democratic Gov. Deval Patrick supports gay marriage too, as does State Treasurer Timothy Cahill, who may run as an independent.
I'll be watching how Massachusetts Republicans react to Baker and Mihos on the topic. While most Republicans in the state likely oppose gay marriage, the Massachusetts G.O.P. has a long history of nominating moderate candidates for governor. That's why the state had four consecutive Republican governors prior to Patrick's victory in 2006. Perhaps there's room for a social conservative in the field, perhaps not.
By the way, Baker is running as a fiscal conservative, but he also sounds fairly supportive of Massachusetts' (near) universal health care law. From an interview with WBUR:
Let me ask about the state's health care coverage law. Concerns presently about whether it's too expensive, whether the state can continue to afford it?
I think it ought to be on the table just like everything else, but I don't think it ought to be the only thing on the table or the first thing on the table. I think it's been quite successful with regard to providing coverage for people. I said at the time when it was passed that I really thought affordability and cost ought to be a huge piece of sort of the next act, and we've been slow as a state to move on the next act.
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