Gov. Charlie Baker

Gov. Baker Casts Super Tuesday Ballot, But Won't Say Who He Voted For

"I said before I wasn't going to get into presidential politics and I'm not going to do it tonight," he said after voting Tuesday night

Sam Doran/State House News Service

When it comes to discussing presidential politics, Gov. Charlie Baker has been nothing this cycle if not consistent.

After months of resisting questions about who he would vote for on Super Tuesday, the state's top elected Republican showed up at the First Church in Swampscott on Tuesday night and cast a secret ballot.

And secret it shall remain.

"I said before I wasn't going to get into presidential politics and I'm not going to do it tonight," he said after voting across the street from his home after a day of working on Beacon Hill. "I said before that I didn't vote for President Trump last time and said I wasn't gonna vote for him this time either."

Asked whether he would say whether he voted for someone else on the Republican ballot, which included his old boss, former Massachusetts Gov. William Weld, Baker declined. He also said he didn't want to "speculate" on whether one of the five Democrats still in the race, including Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, would make a better president than Trump.

"I don't want to get into presidential politics," Baker said. "I have a day job that people pay me to do and it's not about that. It's about working the issues that matter here in Massachusetts."

It's a line Baker has drawn and stuck to. While the occupant of the White House wields significant control over federal policy impacting states and the flow of money to Massachusetts, Baker has chosen to try to to use his position and better relationships with Trump's secretariats to influence policy rather than influence the election.

In 2016, a little over a year into his first term as governor, Baker endorsed then-Gov. Chris Christie days ahead of the New Hampshire primary, and spent a weekend campaigning in the Granite State for his fellow governor.

"I don't ever want to be in a position where people say you didn't have a position on something of significance and importance," he said at the time.

Christie dropped out of the race shortly after a disappointing showing in New Hampshire, and Baker never endorsed again in the race, though he said he didn't vote for Trump. Reminded of what he said about the importance of taking a position, Baker acknowledged his comment from four years ago, but said, "No, nothing's changed. Nothing's changed."

Baker showed up at his polling place at around 7 p.m., and waited in a short line to check in, chatting with fellow voters and poll workers about local sports and how busy the day had been.

Drawing a Republican ballot, Baker had a choice between Trump, Weld, former Illinois Congressman Joe Walsh, who suspended his campaign last month, and Roque de la Fuente. He also could have left the presidential race blank, or wrote in another candidate.

Baker also got to choose between incumbent Republican State Committee member and former Salem State University trustee Richaerd Zykofsky and challenger Richard Wood. Amy Carnevale is the only woman running for the other GOP State Committee seat in the Third Essex District.

Baker said he'd "rather not" discuss his selection in that race either, but strongly suggested that he voted for the challenger, Wood.

"I did vote in the state committee race," he said. "My hope is that many of the people that have supported me in the past will do well tonight. Rick Wood was a big supporter of mine, and I certainly hope he does well."

He also admitted to voting for himself.

Baker's was one of 20 names, including former Republican nominee for secretary of state Anthony Amore, running for 35 seats on the Swampscott Republican Town Committee, all but assuring his victory.

"I did vote for myself, yeah, I did. I've served on the Republican Town Committee here for many years and with a little luck I'll get reelected," he said, knocking on a wooden table next to him.

With the spread of the coronavirus putting many people on edge, Secretary of State William Galvin suggested in the run-up to voting on Tuesday that people could consider bringing their own pens if they feared using a communal writing utensil.

Baker said he did not bring his own pen to vote, and used the one provided in the booth.

"That said, I would urge everybody to remember that washing your hands for 20 seconds with warm water, which is what everybody's recommending at this point, is about as long as it takes you to sing Happy Birthday," Baker said.

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