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NEW: Republican Karyn Polito Announces Bid for Lieutenant Governor

Tuesday, December 03, 2013

 

Karyn Polito served in the MA House of Representatives from 2001 through 2011 serving Worcester's 11th District.

Former Republican State Representative Karyn Polito has announced that she will run for Lieutenant Governor of Massachusetts in 2014.

Polito, who was a six-term representative from Shrewsbury, plans to seek the nomination for the second spot on the GOP ticket alongside Republican gubernatorial candidate Charlie Baker.

Baker, who ran unsuccessfully for governor in 2010, pledged his support for Polito at an event earlier today in Shrewsbury.

Prior to being elected to the House of Representatives, Polito served as a member of the Shrewsbury Board of Selectmen and as a member of the Massachusetts State Lottery Commission. In 2010, Polito ran unsuccessfully for state treasurer against Democrat Steven Grossman, who is now running for governor.

Baker, who is the lone Republican candidate for governor, is the former head of Harvard Pilgrim Health Care.

An Opponent's Reaction

Following today’s announcement by Polito, Democratic candidate for Lieutenant Governor Stephen Kerrigan issued the following statement:

“It’s official: The Charlie Baker campaign makeover has come to a screeching halt. In choosing Karyn Polito as his running mate, Charlie Baker is showing his true colors by aligning himself with an avid backer of the Tea Party movement whose views are well outside our Commonwealth’s mainstream. Massachusetts Republicans are as determined as ever to halt progress by returning to the failed policies of Mitt Romney and the extreme views of the Tea Party.

“I can’t wait for voters to see the contrasts which now make it crystal clear just how much is at stake in this election. I look forward to working with our party's nominee for Governor to chart a new path forward for Massachusetts that builds on Governor Patrick's successes and helps make our Commonwealth work for all its citizens.”

Kerrigan is the President and co-founder of the Massachusetts Military Heroes Fund and the former CEO of the Democratic National Convention.

 

Related Slideshow: 7 Questions Worcester Mayor Petty Will Need To Answer

The following are seven big questions facing Worcester Mayor Petty in his secon term in office.  

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1) City Manager's Position May Be Vacant

 
Michael O'Brien may leave to take a position in the private sector. O'Brien has been the proverbial glue that has held City Hall together.  O'Brien is a competent fiscal manager and keeps the peace among the City Council.
 
Top-level government pros are NOT likely to line up for the Worcester job. Petty will be on the hot seat to find  talent in the post-O'Brien era.
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2) Economic Development Mixed Reviews

The recent series in the Boston Globe and the overview in GoLocal outlined the lack of success Worcester has had in creating a comprehensive economic development plan.  The results of the new construction has created some hope, but there lacks a comprehensive vision and the building seems to be developed in a vacuum.  Mayor Petty seems to be extraneous except for the ribbon cutting ceremonies. 
 
The biggest embarrassment was his lack of input into the casino process. Petty had no public opinion on the projects proposed in Worcester or the projects in adjacent towns.
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3) New Council

The new City Council will have its own personality, while the old council failed to debate or discuss - and too often voted in block.

A number of the council members just elected have promised to be more proactive. This could be a challenge for Petty -- or an opportunity to drive proactive change leveraging new ideas and new energy.

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4) Telegram Closing?

 
Since John Henry purchased both the Boston Globe and the Worcester Telegram, there have been a series of indications that Henry has a strong desire to invest in the Globe and has not said a public word or even visited the Telegram. Media experts have prophesied that the Telegram could be rolled into the Globe - a Globe West edition.
 
This would leave New England's second largest city  without a daily newspaper. What has been deafening is Petty's lack of leadership on this issue.  Can you imagine Tom Menino or Buddy Cianci waiting for a decision to be made on Morrissey Boulevard?
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5) Lack of Diversity in Worcester's Government 

 
As GoLocal previously reported, more than 40 percent of Worcester's population is a minority, but you would not know it by who gets the city jobs. Worcester has more than 1,600 full- and part-time city employees and well over 80 percent of them are white.
 
In almost every department, the number of white workers far outnumbers minorities; some departments are as much as 98 percent white. It is a startling disparity in a city known for its diversity. There has been no concerted public effort to change this by Petty.
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6) Republican Governor Factor

Worcester may not be as wired to the Patrick Administration since Lt. Governor Murray resigned and returned to Worcester, but the Democratic Mayor can get his phone calls answered in the State House. 
 
The next Governor of the Commonwealth could be Charlie Baker. The Democrats are looking at a bruising primary between AG Martha Coakley and Treasurer Steve Grossman, while Charlie Baker is looking like he may get a free ride through the GOP primary. Baker may not be so quick to be concerned about Joe Petty's phone calls.
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7) Legacy

Every Mayor wants to leave his or her city better than they found it -- and wanst to put a mark on the history of the City. Some Mayors focus on schools and others on major developments.
 
Mayor Petty has yet to define his priorities and the second term is the time to unveil a game plan on why he was the man for the job.
 
 

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