Baker v. Gonzalez: The Second Inning

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The hour-long second gubernatorial debate was moderated by Boston Public Radio hosts Jim Braude and Margery Eagan

Massachusetts Republican Governor Charlie Baker and Democratic nominee Jay Gonzalez square off in the second 2018 Massachusetts Gubernatorial debate at the WGBH Studios in Brighton.
Photo by Meredith Nierman / WGBH News

by Eleni Karavoussianis –

BOSTON, Mass. __ Governor Charlie Baker and candidate Jay Gonzalez hashed it out on October 17, 2018 at WGBH. Outside the building were the two sides head-to-head, crowds of people holding up signs of support for Baker on one side and Gonzalez on the other. Facing off as the two candidates did inside the building.

Right away, the debate hit a big talking point and concern for Lynn, considering how horrific the commute can be to Boston and surrounding areas. Baker was questioned on the studies conducted and his approach on the T system. He clarified that his plan was an 8-billion-dollar investment over five years.  Between the red, orange and green line, carrying capacity would increase by 50% during rush hour. Governor Baker also clarified his use of designated bus lanes and expansion plans into Somerville.

The plan is to have it all up and running by 2025. But Gonzalez does not believe Governor Baker has done enough.

Gonzalez brought up his plan (for the first of many times over the evening) to ask the wealthy to pay 3 billion dollars in additional revenue to invest in a better transportation and education system. He supported unique solutions like the discounting of tolls during rush hours.

“It’s a very specific plan to raise three billion dollars each year, by the end of my first term which is three billion more than zero, which is his plan.” Gonzalez said. “Governor Baker’s plan is that it is going to be fixed in 15 years and he hasn’t even said how he is going to pay for that. It’s unacceptable.”

Turning to the education side of Gonzalez’s three-billion-dollar plan, the moderators addressed race disparity. Baker stated how there was still a lot of work left to be done. He believes they need to set up acceleration academies, more after school programs, and a more aggressive front on professional development.

Gonzalez wants to focus on the disparity, make sure that childcare and preschool is affordable and accessible to every family and make sure the public schools are fully funded. He pointed out how both will cost money and once more, brings up his financial plan.

Baker points out the plans with transportation cost many billions of dollars, the education plans cost at least 2 billion a year and counting the promises on top of that is more billions.

“It simply isn’t true, that’s not governing or leadership, that’s politics,” Baker said.

The race between Elizabeth Warren, Geoff Diehl and Shiva Ayyadurai was also brought up in regard to where Baker’s loyalties laid with his endorsement for Diehl and a statement during the debate that he was not sure who he was going to vote for, despite providing earlier endorsement. Though he did mention that people knew where he stood on these key issues regardless.

After the debate, Baker said during the back and forth he misspoke and was going to vote for Diehl.

“My opponent spent so much time talking about the U.S. Senate Race and so little time talking about the race for Governor,” Baker commented.

Gonzalez meanwhile, accused Baker of prioritizing the Republican party over the LGBTQ+ community and women’s reproductive rights during the debate.

“I am consistent on these issues, he’s trying to walk a fine line and it’s hard to know where he stands,” Gonzalez said. “And the one thing people will know about me is where I stand on core issues with values like these.”


Eleni Karavoussianis is a recent Roger Williams University graduate and a 22-year-old freelance journalist. She hopes to one day focus her writing on the judicial system or entertainment news. You can find her @eleni_karav on twitter.

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