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Baker, weighing potential reelection bid, to raise money at PR executive’s Cape Cod home

Is he running? We don't know. But Governor Charlie Baker is set to raise money with some big names later this summer.Nicolaus Czarnecki/Pool

Governor Charlie Baker’s return to the post-pandemic fundraising circuit is taking him to Cape Cod, where public relations executive George Regan will host him and Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito for a fundraiser next month, according to an invitation obtained by the Globe.

Former Boston Police Commissioner William Gross, auto mogul Herb Chambers, and UMass president Martin Meehan are all included among the co-chairs or hosts for the Aug. 20 event at Regan’s Mashpee home, nestled at the Willowbend Country Club.

Cape Cod Healthcare chief executive Michael Lauf and Mintz chairman R. Robert Popeo are also listed on the invite.

The fundraiser is part of Baker’s efforts to refill his campaign account ahead of a potential bid for an unprecedented third consecutive four-year term.


The second-term Republican has not said whether he’ll seek reelection, and after largely eschewing formal efforts to raise cash amid the COVID-19 state of emergency, his account stood at roughly $524,500 by the end of June. Baker had more than 10 times that — about $5.9 million — in the bank at the same point ahead of his successful 2018 reelection campaign.

Polito, meanwhile, had $2.2 million on hand to end last month. The Shrewsbury Republican is widely viewed as a likely candidate for the Republican nomination should Baker choose not to run — a decision that would pit her against one-time US Senate candidate and former state representative Geoff Diehl, who announced a gubernatorial bid earlier this month.

The fundraiser is also familiar ground for Baker and Polito. Regan hosted a fundraiser for both at his Cape home in July 2018 and August 2019.

This time, guests will be serenaded by blues musician James Montgomery at the evening reception, according to the invitation. Attendees are being asked to contribute $500 or the maximum $1,000 to Baker, Polito, or both.


Political watchers have for months been looking for clues for Baker’s campaign plans. He reportedly raised cash last month at a small event at the UMass Club in downtown Boston, though he’s repeatedly said he has not made a decision on what he’ll do next year.

A Baker adviser described next month’s Mashpee fundraiser as an effort to launch a fundraising pace “that more closely resembles pre-pandemic.”

Three Democrats have already announced gubernatorial campaigns: Harvard professor Danielle Allen, state Senator Sonia Chang-Díaz, and former state senator Ben Downing. Allen had the most money available to close June with $339,941, following by Chang-Díaz ($232,786) and Downing ($117,316).

Attorney General Maura Healey is also seen as another potential Democratic candidate. Asked about her plans for the 2022 election during her monthly radio appearance Thursday on “Boston Public Radio,” the Charlestown Democrat said she expects to spend the summer weighing her options. Healey had roughly $3.1 million on hand at the end of last month.

“We’ll know more by the fall,” she said on GBH. “It’s something that I’m thinking about now and taking the time to consider. . . . It’s serious stuff, right? I just want to get that right.”

Emma Platoff of the Globe staff contributed to this report.

Matt Stout can be reached at Follow him @mattpstout.