By Gintautas Dumcius
The two top Republicans in Massachusetts aren't planning on spending any time with Mike Pence while the vice president swings through the Bay State for a Republican National Committee fundraiser.
Gov. Charlie Baker, R-Swampscott, said he plans to be in New Bedford, nearly 60 miles away, when Pence is in Massachusetts on Tuesday.
Asked whether he was trying to send a message by not attending a large fundraiser for the Republican National Committee, Baker said, "I'm not sending a message, I'm just not going to be here because my calendar had all kinds of other stuff on it which was important."
Baker said he didn't know whether he'd been invited to the fundraiser.
"My calendar was full, I didn't know about it," the governor said. "Generally speaking, when important fellow officials come through town, if we have a chance to say hello to them, we try to, whether they're Republicans or Democrats."
Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito, R-Shrewsbury, said she also has no plans to attend. "Wasn't asked to attend and I have other commitments tomorrow," she told reporters at the State House.
Baker and Polito, his running mate, are up for re-election this year. Public polling has shown Baker remains popular in Massachusetts, while President Donald Trump is deeply disliked among voters.
Three Democrats are vying for the chance to take Baker on in November. They are former Newton Mayor Setti Warren, former Deval Patrick budget aide Jay Gonzalez and environmental activist Bob Massie.
Pence is set to fly into Logan International Airport on Air Force Two at 4:15 p.m. before heading into the Langham Hotel for the fundraiser, according to the Boston Globe. The fundraiser is closed to press.
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