SWAMPSCOTT — Monday was a day when both the Republican and Democratic candidates for governor both showed up on the North Shore on what was their last full day to get out the vote.
That included a stop by Gov. Charlie Baker to a banquet room of the Hawthorne-by-the-Sea restaurant on Humphrey Street, not far from his home, for a hometown rally to thank his supporters, friends and neighbors.
There, the state’s first lady, Lauren Baker, recalled how Monday night four years ago, on election eve, she and her husband stood in the very same room for a hometown rally.
Or so she thought.
“Hey honey,” interjected Baker amiably from the side of the room, “we were in the gym,” Charlie Baker deadpanned, and his 100 or so enthusiastic supporters laughed, as Baker had noted their hometown rally in 2014 was indeed in the gym at Swampscott High across town.
One might forgive the lapse.
This was, after all, the Republican governor’s third statewide campaign for the state’s top political office since 2010, when he was defeated by former Gov. Deval Patrick in a three-way race. But the Bakers noted that there was no place like home, the place where they raised three kids, when it came to where they wanted to be to wind up their campaign.
“We were in Swampscott on election ... you are right, I’m sorry,” Lauren Baker said. “We could be anywhere, but we were here, and we were with you and I cannot thank you enough for being with us every step of the way and supporting us. It has been an incredible journey for Charlie and me and we never would have gotten here without you.”
Lauren thanked Swampscott for being their hometown community for the past 25 years and its support in helping Baker win election in 2014.
Baker, who grew up in Needham, said every campaign they have run ends in Swampscott because of what it means to him and his wife.
“The people in this community, our friends, our neighbors, the parents we used to trade stories with about the craziness that is associated with being a parent, those conversations took place with the people in Swampscott and Marblehead and Winthrop and Lynn and Salem and all across the North Shore,” the governor said. “And for us, that is why each one of these campaigns needed to end in this community because fundamentally, this job, this work is all about trying to do the things that we can do to help communities succeed and to help families, as Lauren said, have a great place to live, work and grow up.” He noted the state has added 200,000 jobs during his first term.
Democratic nominee for governor Jay Gonzalez and his wife, Cyndi, stopped by a campaign office at 10 Colonial Road in Salem around 1:30 p.m. to greet and thank about 20 supporters and canvassers, and get a big hug from state Rep. Paul Tucker, D-Salem, who is also running unopposed in Tuesday’s state election. Gonzalez gave a short speech before heading to Lynn, where there was a much larger gathering of Democrats that included U.S. Rep. Seth Moulton.
While Baker’s thank you to supporters did not mention his rival or the Trump administration, Gonzalez took digs at both.
“Thank you all for being here,” said Gonzalez, who lives in Needham. “It really matters. You ready to get out the vote?”
“Yes,” said supporters. “The Democratic votes.”
“The Democratic votes, that’s right,” Gonzalez said. “If this president of ours has taught us anything, it is that our liberties and our democracy, and the strength of our communities, these fundamental American privileges, are not self-fulfilling. They need us to breathe life into them and protect them and be vigilant about them. We can’t take them for granted. And, voting is one of the ways we do that.”
“Elections matter,” Gonzalez said. “Electing Democrats who will fight for our values, matters. Right? So, with Trump taking us backwards every single day, it is really important we’ve got real leadership right here in Massachusetts. And we don’t have that right now. Charlie Baker is a status quo, wait-and-see governor. I know I have run across this and I know you have too: People who are just relieved to have a governor who seems nice, and isn’t a crazy, right-wing extremist.
“And, he’s tall,” said someone.
“Tall’s overrated,” Gonzalez said, who often jokes about his short stature. Gonzalez said with President Donald Trump setting the bar so low, “nice and not crazy seems pretty good. Even I’ll admit that. But it’s not good enough, not for Massachusetts.” In a short stump speech, he laid out a plan to invest an additional $3 billion each year in education and transportation “by asking the wealthy to pay their fair share.”
Gonzalez said everywhere he goes, he hears from people who have voted for him.
“The polls and the pundits have been way off,” Gonzalez said. “And it is not what we are experiencing on the ground.”
Later that evening, Lauren Baker thanked supporters and added: “The polls look very, very good and we are very proud of that, but as you all know, the only poll that matters, is the one that happens tomorrow.”
Staff writer Ethan Forman can be reached at 978-338-2673, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at @TannerSalemNews.