Days after he picked up the endorsement of the state GOP convention and drew a likely primary opponent, Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker said he won’t be out on the campaign trail until later this summer.
Scott Lively, a controversial Springfield pastor known for his anti-gay views, received nearly 27 percent of support from delegate at the convention in Worcester, vaulting past the 15 percent threshold and qualifying for the GOP primary ballot.
Lively, who is touting himself as a supporter of Donald Trump while Baker keeps his distance from president, still needs to gather the required number of signatures before his name is formally placed on the ballot. Lively ran as an independent in 2014, and received 1 percent of the vote.
Two Democrats, former Deval Patrick budget chief Jay Gonzalez and entrepreneur Bob Massie, are angling to face off against the winner of the GOP primary
The state primaries are set for Tuesday, Sept. 4.
Baker, who is looking for a second four-year term, said in remarks to reporters Monday that he plans to focus on the Massachusetts State House before completely turning to re-election campaign.
“We have a lot to do here between now and July 31,” Baker said, referring to the date when the formal legislative session ends and state lawmakers return to their districts, in many cases to campaign for their own re-election.
“I’m going to do everything in my power between now and July 31 to focus on the agenda that is before us in this building and we can talk about that other stuff afterwards,” Baker said when asked about Lively.
Baker listed legislation dealing with housing, opioids, and both spending and borrowing bills.
Asked if that means he’s not going to campaign until August, Baker said, “I think it’s unlikely you’ll see me do much other than my job between now and the end of this session, yeah.”
After Baker met with Democratic state legislative leaders on Monday, a reporter noted Lively’s support within the party activists at the DCU Center on Saturday.
“I got 70 percent of the vote, which I was pleased to have, from a whole bunch of people who came out and offered their ongoing support for our efforts,” Baker said, echoing comments he made on Saturday.
In his comments Saturday, Baker ripped Lively, saying “a lot of what he says and a lot of what he believes doesn’t belong in public discourse.”
Asked to provide some examples on Monday, Baker said, “Well I’m no fan of his position on gay rights, and I’ll just start there.”
A Baker spokesman then said, “Thanks guys,” and the governor strode back towards the Corner Office.