Politics

Charlie Baker voted in the Republican presidential primary. For whom, he won’t say.

The moderate Republican governor says he didn't cast his ballot for President Donald Trump. But he also wouldn't confirm voting for his "mentor" Bill Weld.

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker arrives Monday to speak at a press conference on the coronavirus. Jessica Rinaldi / The Boston Globe

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Gov. Charlie Baker cast his ballot in the Republican presidential primary Tuesday night. And while the moderate Massachusetts governor says he didn’t vote for President Donald Trump, he refused to reveal how he otherwise voted.

“I said before I wasn’t going to get into presidential politics, and I’m not going to do it tonight,” Baker told reporters at his polling place in Swampscott in a video published by the State House News Service.

“I said before that I didn’t vote for President Trump last time and said I wasn’t gonna vote for him this time either,” he added.

Within 15 minutes of polls closing in Massachusetts, the Associated Press projected Trump as the winner of the state’s Republican primary over his intra-party challenger, former Gov. Bill Weld, who Baker has called a “mentor.” However, the current governor has consistently declined to back Weld’s long-shot campaign, despite his criticism of some of Trump’s policies and rhetoric. The move mirrors Baker’s recent efforts to avoid picking a side in Trump’s impeachment trial.

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“I don’t want to get into presidential politics,” he repeated, when asked who else he voted for on the ballot Tuesday. “I have a day job that people pay me to do, and it’s not about that. It’s about working the issues that matter here in Massachusetts.”

In the 2016 presidential primary race, Baker had fewer qualms wading into national politics, endorsing former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie a month before the election.

“I don’t ever want to be in a position where people say you didn’t have a position on something of significance and importance,” he said, as the State House News Service reported at the time.

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After Christie dropped out, Baker declined to endorse another Republican candidate and, ultimately, said he cast a blank ballot in the general election. Asked about the quote — which local Democrats have begun to throw back at him — about not taking a position, Baker said that nothing had changed.

He did, however, acknowledge voting for himself in the election for Swampscott’s Republican Town Committee.

“With a little luck, I’ll get re-elected,” Baker said, knocking on a wood table.

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