Massachusetts Republican Gov. Charlie Baker, right, faces reporters as Mass. Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito, left, looks on during a news conference at the Statehouse, Jan. 25, 2017, in Boston.
Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker (R) does not plan to endorse the state’s GOP gubernatorial nominee, who is backed by former President Trump, according to a spokesperson.
“The Governor and Lt. Governor [Karyn Polito (R)] said months ago they don’t plan to get involved in the gubernatorial election so they can focus solely on finishing strong,” Baker spokesman Jim Conroy confirmed to The Hill. “That’s still the case.”
Former state Rep. Geoff Diehl, who had the endorsement of former President Trump, was projected on Tuesday night to win the Republican primary in the Massachusetts governor’s race, beating out moderate businessman Chris Doughty.
Diehl will face Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey (D) in November’s general election race. The nonpartisan Cook Political Report rates the general election race as “solid Democratic.”
Baker, who announced last year he would not seek a third term, did not endorse in the primary to replace him.
The blue-state Republican governor has critiqued Trump at times, saying he didn’t vote for the former president in 2016 and calling Trump “outrageous” and “disgraceful” in a 2018 debate during Baker’s second gubernatorial campaign.
Baker was asked about his gubernatorial endorsement during an interview with GBH News’s Boston Public Radio in late July, MassLive reported.
“I don’t know,” said Baker. “I have a lot of work to do, and I have a day job.”
Baker isn’t the first outgoing Republican governor to decline to endorse a successor after a Trump-backed candidate won the party’s primary.
Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R), who similarly serves in a traditionally blue state and is a frequent critic of Trump, said he will not support state Del. Dan Cox after he won the state’s GOP gubernatorial primary in July.
Hogan has been more forceful in his criticism of his party’s nominee, calling Cox a “QAnon conspiracy theorist.”