In the hunt to land Amazon, put Setti Warren down as Team Worcester.
The Newton mayor and Democratic candidate for governor said Friday that he supports a bid by the state’s second-largest city to win the e-commerce giant’s hotly-contested headquarters over others in Massachusetts, arguing it would do the most to ease economic inequality in the state.
Key to Warren’s plan is a long-discussed — but not yet formally-studied — high-speed train from Springfield to Boston. The train, Warren said, would enable workers from across Massachusetts to get to Amazon’s campus, which the company said could eventually grow to employ 50,000 people. Building it, perhaps with financial help from Amazon, could bring opportunity to cities and towns across the state that are disconnected from the economic boom in Boston and Cambridge.
“I believe this combination of Worcester and the bullet train addresses economic inequality in our state and provides a pathway for economic development,” Warren said. “It creates higher-paying jobs in areas that need them in Western Mass., as well as addressing our housing crisis and investing in needed infrastructure.”
Warren said he hasn’t yet talked about the plan with Worcester officials, or with Tim Murray, the former lieutenant governor who now leads the Worcester Chamber of Commerce.
Warren said that if he were governor, he would prioritize a bid from Worcester over other cities in the state — including Boston — that also plan to pursue Amazon. That differs from the stance taken so far by Governor Charlie Baker — his administration has avoided picking favorites in the two weeks since Amazon put out a nationwide call for bids for a second headquarters.
Along with Worcester, New Bedford, Fall River, and a triumvirate of Lawrence, Haverhill, and North Andover have all said they’ll likely bid to get the headquarters. Developers in Weymouth and Somerville also are readying pitches. And Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh has a team of city officials putting together a bid that many national experts expect to be a strong contender.
Those proposals are due Oct. 19, and Baker told WGBH on Thursday that the state will support them all equally.
“We’re not going to partner with any particular local” governments, Baker said. “There’s a lot of different folks who are interested in submitting proposals. God bless them. Go for it.”