Former State Senator Announces Bid for Mass. Governor

Former state Sen. Ben Downing is running for governor of Massachusetts, promising bold leadership at a time when he said state leaders lack a sense of urgency

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Though the race for the governor of Massachusetts is still nearly two years away, at least one candidate told NBC10 Boston he’s in.

Former state Sen. Ben Downing, a Democrat, is running on a platform of economic and racial justice as well as climate change. In his first TV interview on the race, the Pittsfield native told NBC10 Boston that current Gov. Charlie Baker is not getting the job done.

"He’s a good man and a dedicated public servant, and certainly he’s better than what we’ve seen from Washington for the last four years, but better than bad isn’t good enough. That’s a low bar to set," Downing said. "I think there’s a lot more that we can and should be doing."

Downing served in the Massachusetts Senate for a decade, representing Berkshire County from 2007 to 2017 before he took a job at Boston clean energy developer Nexamp. He has left that position to run full-time for governor.

Downing currently lives in East Boston with his wife and two young boys. He was inspired to run, in part, by the unlimited potential he sees in Massachusetts.

"What we don’t have is a sense of urgency from our leadership that will drive the solutions to tap into that potential, to help us take on and address economic and racial justice, to solve climate change, to build a fairer, stronger Massachusetts," Downing said. "What we have been lacking is that sense of urgency from our leadership. That’s what I want to bring to this race. That’s what I would bring to the governors office."

More from political reporter Alison King's interview with Downing is coming up Monday afternoon on NBC10 Boston, where he talks about how his progressive message will resonate with independent voters and how he feels about Baker‘s leadership.

Baker has not yet announced whether he will seek a third term. The gubernatorial race in Massachusetts is slated for November 2022.

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