Charlie Baker is the incumbent Governor of Massachusetts, having assumed office on January 8, 2015 as the successor if Deval Patrick. Previously, Baker was Secretary of Administration and Finance (1994 – 1998) and Secretary of Health and Human Services (1992 – 1994). He is also a businessman.
Early Life and Education
Charlie Baker was born on November 13, 1956 to an English-descent family. Born in Elmira, New York, Baker’s father was a Harvard graduate owner of Westinghouse Electric Corporation. His mother’s name is Alice Elizabeth and she was a housewife. Raised in Needham, Massachusetts with two brothers, Baker went to Needham High School for early education.
Graduating from the high school, Charlie joined Harvard University for an undergraduate degree in English. Unlike many Harvard graduates, Baker says ‘those four years are ones I would rather forget’. Later, he joined Northwestern University for an MBA.
Charlie met his future wife Lauren Cardy Schadt while at Northwestern University. They got married in 1987 and have three children. Wife Lauren currently works in an advertisement agency.
Leaving Harvard and Northwestern, Charlie Baker joined Massachusetts High Technology Council as its Corporate Communications Director. Subsequently, he worked as codirector at Pioneer Institute and later joined the incumbent Governor William Weld as Undersecretary of Health and Human Services, under the recommendation of Lovett C. Peters. Soon, he was promoted to hold the office of Secretary of Health and Human Services. He remained in the position until November 1994 and joined Secretariat of Administration of Finance under Bill Weld and Paul Cellucci’s administration. In 1998, Baker was succeeded by Frederick Laskey.
Leaving the state government in 1998, Baker joined Harvard Vanguard Medical Associates as CEO and subsequently got promoted to the CEO of the whole parent company. During his tenure, Baker worked efficiently to increase the profitability of the company – in fact, he lifted the company from losing $58 million in 1998 to achieving 24 consecutive profitable quarters. Consequently, Baker became quickly recognized as a shrewd businessman and his company also earned America’s Best Health Care Plan Award for five consecutive years.
Charlie Baker made a return to the Massachusetts politics in 2010 gubernatorial election. He faced Scott Lively and Tim Cahill in in 2010 Republican Primary election and won the nomination by securing 98.3% votes. Despite such a huge win in the primaries, Baker went on to lose against Democrat candidate Deval Patrick who earned 48.4% votes. Baker had 42% votes and was in short of around 48k votes to win. The Independent candidate Tim Cahill had 8% votes in favor.
Losing the 2010 gubernatorial election, Baker joined 2014 Massachusetts Gubernatorial Republican Primary Election against Republican colleague Mark Fisher. While Fisher had 25.7% votes, Baker won the nomination with 74.1% votes. In the final gubernatorial election, Baker defeated Democrat candidate Martha Coakley with a small margin of 40,000, or 2%, votes. At the same time, United Independent candidate Evan Falchuk received 3.3% votes.
As Governor of Massachusetts, Charles Baker ordered environmental regulatory review in March 2015. Likewise, he made significant changes in fiscal policy. The income tax rate was reduced to 5.1% and the state budget saw a few cuts over a period of two years. As of January 2017, Governor Baker announced a budget of $40.5 billion. However, economists are expecting a slight downturn in fiscal policies due to lower tax revenues.
Talking about Governor Baker’s approval ratings, he was at 70% for the first 100 days at the office. Then, over a period of last two years, Baker’s approval ratings have fluctuated significantly. In November 2014, it was as high as 74%. As of January 2017, Baker’s approval rating is at a record low with only 59% in favor.
Donald Trump and Charlie Baker
Governor Baker and President Donald Trump have a common background: they both are successful businessmen. Moreover, being Republicans, they resemble in many of their economic and political stands. For instance, both support tax cuts for future investment and budget cuts for a reduction in national debt. However, Baker shows his hostility towards Trump’s immigration ban.