Charlie Baker said Wednesday that he still isn't quite ready to say whether he plans to seek re-election to a third term as Massachusetts governor.
"That is something the lieutenant governor and I have been talking about with our families, and we'll certainly make a decision about that soon," he said following an event in Springfield to kick off the Department of Conservation and Recreation's Summer Nights program.
Asked what he thinks of fellow Republican Geoff Diehl and others entering the race, Baker seemed unfazed.
"I've always said about running for office that it is a personal decision, and I'm a big believer in participative democracy," he said. "And if folks decide they have something to say and they want to have a vehicle through which they can say it by getting in and running, you know, more power to them, and I've always said that."
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In addition to Diehl, Democrats Danielle Allen, Sonia Chang-Diaz and Ben Downing have already announced their intentions to run.
Allen leads the Democratic field with the most total funds raised in June, hauling in $102,872 and topping the pack with $339,941 cash on hand, according to the state's campaign finance office. Her campaign said the fundraising numbers bring the candidate's second-quarter total to over $260,000.
Chang-Díaz hauled in $33,362 during the same period, though she officially launched her bid on June 23. Her campaign said she raised over $53,000 in the first week after announcing her bid for governor and that 90% of the contributions were $100 or less. Those contributions were not all reflected in her monthly report due to lags in reporting of online donations.
Downing, who was the first candidate to officially seek the state's top office in 2022, hauled in $39,408 in June and has $117,316 cash on hand, according to the state's campaign finance office. Downing’s campaign said he raised $114,000 in the second quarter, with roughly three-quarters of his money coming from Massachusetts donors in contributions of $100 or less.
Baker has stressed for months that his attention was on guiding Massachusetts through the COVID-19 pandemic. But the focus on his political future has intensified now that pandemic restrictions have been lifted and the state's coronavirus numbers have dropped.