By Matt Murphy
Gov. Charlie Baker would not commit last week to supporting the Republican nominee in the Fourth Congressional District, an Air Force veteran and former Attleboro city councilor who will be matched up in November against the governor’s former campaign aide Jake Auchincloss.
Auchincloss prevailed last week in a seven-way primary to become the Democratic nominee for the U.S. House seat currently held by U.S. Rep. Joseph Kennedy III. But back in 2014, Auchincloss was a registered Republican who worked on Baker’s first successful campaign for governor. He has called himself an Obama-Baker voter, and has sharply criticized President Donald Trump. Hall, meanwhile, prevailed in her primary against David Rosa, a pro-Trump Republican from Dighton who has run twice before for Congress. Hall has warned about an “extreme socialist agenda” in Washington if Democrats win in November.
“I certainly know Julie Hall and I know Jake and I would call them both friends,” Baker said Wednesday when asked if he might endorse in the race. “That’s something we can certainly talk about at some point in time,” he said. Baker has previously said he pulled a Republican ballot in the primary and voted for Kevin O’Connor for U.S. Senate, but he also endorsed U.S. Rep. Richard Neal, the long-time incumbent Democrat from Springfield in his race against progressive Holyoke Mayor Alex Morse. Neal won the primary. Told that Auchincloss promised to be a partner to the Baker administration in Congress, Baker said he has gotten along well with the entire all-Democrat delegation and would hope that anyone who wins the seat from either party would help him do what’s best for Massachusetts. Baker also deferred when asked his opinion of ranked-choice voting, which will be the second question on the November ballot and might have had a big impact in the Fourth Congressional District.
“Honestly, I haven’t spent much time thinking about it at all. I’ve been kind of distracted by what we’ve been talking about today,” Baker said, referring to the pandemic. “We’ll talk about that sometime between now and the election but it’s not going to be today.”