Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito will not be a candidate for governor or lieutenant governor in 2022.
Polito and Governor Charlie Baker, both second-term Republicans, said in a joint statement Wednesday that they would not seek reelection next year, and an adviser confirmed that Polito would not be a candidate for governor, either. The two said in the statement that they would instead focus the final year of their term in office on managing the COVID-19 crisis, warning that a political campaign could have been “a distraction” from that work.
“We want to focus on recovery, not on the grudge matches political campaigns can devolve into,” they wrote.
Polito and Baker also said in the statement that the decision not to run would leave them more time to spend with their families.
“Coming out of this pandemic, we are acutely aware, more than ever before, about how little we can take for granted when it comes to our family, our friends, or our time on this planet,” Baker and Polito wrote. “We both want to be there with Lauren and Steve and our children for the moments, big and small, that our families will experience going forward.”
Polito, 55, a Republican from Shrewsbury, had been widely seen as a successor to Baker if he did not seek a third term in office. Over the past few months, she and Baker have held numerous fund-raisers across the state. As of the end of October, she had $2.3 million in her political campaign account.
With a slightly more conservative political bent than Baker, Polito ran alongside the incumbent governor in 2014 and has served with him since.