Voters will decide the fate Massachusetts’ 2010 gubernatorial elections next Tuesday, November 2nd.
The election comes as Massachusetts emerges from one of the worst economic recessions in state history, and will decide whether Beacon hill will stay the current course or hand the helm to a new captain.
First-term incumbent and democratic party candidate Deval Patrick leads by four points in the latest Boston Globe poll, picking up 43 percent. Patrick was elected governor in 2006. He previously served as assistant Attorney General under the Clinton Administration.
Patrick and his running mate Lieutenant Governor Tim Murray are running on the platform of their achievements during their four years in office, hoping that the voters will give them another four years to finish the job. During his term Patrick has invested record amounts in public education, and implemented the 2006 health care reform law. He has also introduced competition to auto insurance companies by allowing shoppers to search for the best deal.
Patrick is a supporter of equal rights for gay marriage, abortion rights, and the cape wind project.
But, as Patrick’s republican opponent Charlie Baker is quick to point out, he has also raised taxes. In the last year there has been a 25 percent raise in the sales tax to 6.25 percent.
Baker falls four percent behind Patrick in the Globe’s poll, coming in at 39 percent. However the poll has an error margin of 4.3 percent and many republicans hope Baker can ride the wave of anti-incumbent sentiment sweeping the nation into Beacon hill.
Baker stepped down from his position as CEO of Harvard Pilgrim Health to run for governor. He has formerly served as the State’s secretary of Health and Human services, the Secretary of Administration and Finance and as a selectman for the town of Swampscott for 3 years. During his time as the Secretary of Administration and Finance Baker was the main architect of the Big dig finance plan.
Baker and his running mate Richard Tisei, the MA senate minority leader, are running on a platform of fiscal conservatism and social liberalism. Unlike many republicans Baker is supportive of Gay marriage and abortion rights.
Baker’s campaign is focused on the creating jobs and cutting state spending. The campaign has put a special focus on what Baker calls his “Baker’s dozen,” a list of “13 ways to save the taxpayer over $1 billion.” The plan calls for Medicaid reform, consolidation of government, the end of union control of public contracts and the restructure of public employee retirement benefits. The plan also proposes that the state charge inmates room and board.
Baker also plans to cut taxes. If elected he claims he will lower the 6.25 percent sales tax, the 8.75 percent corporate tax, and the 5.3 percent income tax all to five percent.
Also on the ballot is independent candidate Tim Cahill and green-rainbow candidate Jill Stein. The third party candidates are behind on the Globe’s poll Cahill is standing at eight percent and Stein at two percent.
Cahill is running on a moderate platform with a campaign focused on job creation, alternative energy and addressing rising health care costs. He has served on the Quincy city council from 1987 to 2003, and as Norfolk country treasurer from 1996 to 2003 and is currently MA state treasurer and receiver-general.
Stein claims that she will create 50,000 “green jobs,” and work to create a “green economy.” She supports a health care overhaul that will be similar to the socialized health care in Canada.
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