Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker may have crossed party lines to wade into the 1st District’s competitive Democratic congressional primary.
But the Swampscott Republican is sticking to his party when it comes to the state’s high-profile Senate primary.
During a press conference Tuesday afternoon, Baker told reporters that he voted by mail for Senate candidate and Dover attorney Kevin O’Connor in his GOP primary race against Shiva Ayyadurai, a Belmont entrepreneur and 2018 candidate.
“He’s a terrific lawyer,” Baker said of O’Connor, “and knows a lot about what I would describe as the local government issues that I care the most about, and state issues. And I think he’s the best candidate.”
O’Connor was quick to embrace the support Tuesday, thanking the governor in a tweet Tuesday afternoon. The nod from Baker, who also backed the Republican nominee against Sen. Elizabeth Warren in 2018, is the latest and most high-profile addition to O’Connor’s list of endorsements from establishment Republicans in the otherwise predominantly Democratic state.
It’s also not much of a surprise, given how Ayyadurai frequently rails against Baker on social media and has worked to align himself with President Donald Trump’s more conspiracy-minded base — most recently leading anti-vaccine protests and criticizing the moderate Republican governor’s effort to ensure residents wear face coverings to stop the spread of COVID-19.
Similar to Baker, O’Connor cuts a more moderate stance. According to his website, the 57-year-old longtime lawyer supports incremental changes to make healthcare more affordable for middle-income individuals and acknowledges that climate change is “real and especially impactful on our coastal communities.”
At the same time, he opposes the single-payer health proposal known as Medicare-for-All, which the two Senate candidates in the Democratic primary, Sen. Ed Markey and Rep. Joe Kennedy, support. O’Connor also says the Green New Deal resolution, which Markey co-authored, “would be a disaster for our country.”
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