Goldberg seems to tip hand on reelection plan

Boston Statehouse

Lawmakers and staff have used video conferences and teleconferences to help keep things flowing. Treasurer Deborah Goldberg (on screen) and a panel of economists appeared by video at a hearing on April 14 to talk about COVID-19’s impact on the state’s fiscal outlook. (Photo: Sam Doran/SHNS)

BOSTON (SHNS) – Two-term Treasurer Deb Goldberg may wait until next year to officially announce her political plans but seemed to tip her hand in a radio interview Thursday when she said she looked forward to working with the next governor and talked about how much she loves her job.

Goldberg said she spoke with Gov. Charlie Baker on Wednesday, the day he announced he would not seek reelection, about the work they face leading up to the next statewide elections on Nov. 8, 2022.

“We talked about how much more we still have to do within the next year, and I look forward to whomever becomes governor in the future having a very positive working relationship,” Goldberg, a Democrat from Brookline, said during her Bloomberg Baystate Business interview. “The administration and finance department and my cash and debt department need to be real partners in much of what they do. And so I hope that we can continue to have the kind of positive working relationships that are very critical — maybe not well known about — but very critical to the economic stability of our state.”

Hosts Tom Moroney and Joe Shortsleeve asked Goldberg, who was the runner-up in the 2006 Democratic primary for lieutenant governor, about whether she might run for governor, a bid that several of her predecessors — Joe Malone, Shannon O’Brien, Tim Cahill — undertook without success.

“I love my job,” Goldberg said initially. When Moroney asked if he should then put her down as a “maybe,” Goldberg added, “No, no. There’s no maybe. I am very happy where I am.”

Goldberg called the job of state treasurer “so fascinating” and said she was constantly stimulated and challenged by the work while adding that most people “don’t even know what the treasurer does.”

While she talked about working as treasurer in 2023, after next November’s elections, Goldberg would not actually confirm that she’s running again.

“I am talking about that very shortly with family and friends,” she said, breaking into laughter.

She added, “I am not telling you that here and now. There’s no rush.”

Asked about the timeline for an official announcement, Goldberg said, “I would think that anything later than the beginning of February would be a little crazy. We have the [party] caucuses coming up and, you know, making your position known is pretty important prior to that and then making sure that others within the party understand that you are not vacating the seat, because you know rumors swirl and people have ambitions, so.”

While discussing how she’s been able to work as treasurer with Republicans, whether it be Baker or GOP treasurers in other states, Goldberg said, “I don’t think that it’s important what party the governor comes from. I think it’s important that the governor is prepared to lead the state.”

Shortsleeve circled back to that comment later in the interview to suggest voters in Massachusetts have shown they like having Republican governors since over the past three decades they elected William Weld and Charlie Baker twice, and Paul Cellucci and Mitt Romney once.

“I think that it depends on the person,” Goldberg responded, pivoting to the Democrat who seized the governor’s office for two terms starting in 2007. “I mean, Deval Patrick was swept in on a landslide when he ran in 2006. So it’s pretty clear that the voters didn’t have that issue at that time. So I honestly think it’s who the candidate is.”

Patrick defeated Baker in the 2010 election for governor, and Baker started his tenure in the corner office after edging former Attorney General Martha Coakley in the 2014 election.

Goldberg continued, serving up some 2022 election analysis.

“I think that the contrast will come out in any kind of campaign, that exists, and who is best at this time and in this space to address the needs and the concerns of people who live in Massachusetts,” she said. “You know, Massachusetts may be dominated in the Legislature by the Democrats but, candidly, the voters are unenrolled. And so they are very thoughtful about how they view those that they elect. And they will make that choice next November.”

As of Feb. 1, 2021, Democrats accounted for 31.6 percent of registered voters in Massachusetts, Republican voters made up 9.7 percent and the unenrolled majority stood at 57.4 percent.

Heading toward 2022, the races for at least half of the state’s six constitutional offices (governor, lieutenant governor and auditor) are now wide open. Attorney General Maura Healey and Secretary of State William Galvin have not announced their plans. Healey is weighing a possible run for governor.

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