Deval Patrick for governor

Plus, endorsements for attorney general, secretary of state, treasurer, auditor, and the state ballot questions.
By EDITORIAL  |  November 2, 2006

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After 16 years of Republican rule, it is time to return a Democrat and a leader with a sense of humanity to the governor’s office. It is in that spirit — and for other reasons as well — that we urge voters next week to vote for Deval Patrick. It will come as no surprise to regular readers of this page that we believe the reign of Mitt Romney has been a series of false starts and misconceived policies. Among his many disappointments, his first lay in choosing the supremely unqualified Kerry Healey to be his lieutenant governor. And his most defining action has been to surrender his office in all but name after only two years of service in order to pursue the Republican nomination for president. Massachusetts deserves better.

Deval Patrick is an immensely inspiring talent. Just 18 months ago he was a political novelty, an outsider bent on showing the go-along-to-get-along elements of the Democratic Party that intelligence and integrity still hold strong appeal for Massachusetts’s voters. It looks like his gambit is going to pay off.

If it does, Patrick will have his work cut out for him. Some critics rightly point out that despite impressive service in President Bill Clinton’s Justice Department and his tenure in the upper reaches of corporate America, Patrick has never had a job in which the buck ultimately stopped with him. That, of course, is true. But few come to any governor’s office having held that sort of responsibility. What Patrick offers the citizens of Massachusetts is hope: that we can do better, that we will do better, that we can be better. That’s a tall order, but we believe Patrick is the man for the challenge. And his running mate, Worcester mayor Tim Murray, shows the able promise of helping Patrick redirect and re-energize state government.

Attorney General
Middlesex County District Attorney Martha Coakley deserves your vote. Coakley is a fine prosecutor with solid progressive instincts. And that is critical because the attorney general’s office is largely about establishing legal priorities. Against what ills do you use your resources, the most important of which are the lawyers on the AG’s staff? Coakley will likely continue to prioritize the best of outgoing AG Tom Reilly’s efforts in the realms of consumer protection, child safety, and racial discrimination. Like others supporting her candidacy, we’re counting on her to be more aggressive on gay rights and health-care issues, and to take more-vigorous stands on political corruption — especially that black hole of special interests known as the Big Dig.

Secretary of State
Incumbent Bill Galvin may not be flashy, but he’s good, and he’s serious. Galvin deserves re-election.

Treasurer
It boggles the mind that the Republicans could not field a viable candidate to challenge incumbent Democrat Tim Cahill, who has done a competent job in his first term, but has not demonstrated great leadership in this important office. We would like to be able to recommend Green candidate James O’Keefe, a software engineer making his second run. But he is even less impressive. So we recommend a vote for Cahill in the hope that a second term will inspire the treasurer to better use his office to the economic benefit of the commonwealth’s citizens.

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