BOSTON, MA (WBZ-AM/AP) — Republican Charlie Baker re-elected to a second term as Massachusetts governor, defeating Democrat Jay Gonzalez according to the projections by the Associated Press.
Baker, a moderate Republican popular with voters in heavily Democratic Massachusetts won big--with the race being called just minutes after the polls closed at 8 p.m.
"The people of Massachusetts elected us four years ago to bring fiscal discipline, a reform-minded governing approach, and a commitment to bipartisanship to state government," Baker said in his victory speech. "And you know what? We've done that every single day."
Addressing his supporters at Hynes Convention Center in Boston, Gov. Baker acknowledged the support he received from many Democrats and independents.
"We won't always agree, but we are all Americans," Baker told the crowd. "And here, we are the sons and daughters of the great people of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and when we make progress, we do it by working together."
"Today the voters have spoken, and it seems that they like what we're doing and the way we go about it," Gov. Baker continued. "That collaborative, purposeful, and humble approach to governing is exactly what you're gonna get from us and our team for the next four years."
Baker and Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito turned back a challenge Tuesday from Democrat Jay Gonzalez, a former state budget official, and his running mate, Quentin Palfrey.
Telling his supporters at the Fairmont Copley Hotel that these weren't the results he was hoping for, Gonzalez congratulated Baker and said the governor "deserves respect and thanks."
"At a time of divisiveness and incivility in our national politics, Governor Baker also deserves credit and our thanks for the civil, respectful, and collaborative approach he has taken to governing," Gonzalez said.
Baker touted the state's strong economy and low unemployment, his administration's progress in stabilizing the state's finances without broad tax increases, and steps taken to tackle the opioid addiction crisis.
He has been a frequent critic of President Donald Trump, who is unpopular in Massachusetts. But Gonzalez criticized Baker for endorsing other pro-Trump Republicans, including U.S. Senate candidate Geoff Diehl.
Gonzalez called for $3 billion in new taxes to improve education and transportation, and supported a single-payer health care system.
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WBZ NewsRadio 1030's Carl Stevens (@carlwbz) reports