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Patrick vows transparent handover of power to successor

Governor Patrick has been stumping for Martha Coakley, the attorney general, in the hope that another Democrat can continue his progressive agenda.Pat Greenhouse/Globe Staff/Globe Staff

MILTON — No matter if it’s Charlie Baker or Martha Coakley, Deval Patrick on Tuesday vowed to provide an “unprecedented level of transparency” in the transition to the next administration.

Patrick pledged to have a transition website up by midnight, and to invite the new governor to the State House on Wednesday.

“Governor Romney was really great about having me in the morning after and really formally launching the transition,” said Patrick, after emerging from voting at a senior center in Milton this morning. “We’re very ready.”

It’s a secret ballot, but it’s no secret whom this suburb’s most famous resident is supporting in this hard-fought governor’s race.


“It feels good to vote for Martha Coakley,” said the two-term governor who has been stumping for the attorney general in the hope that another Democrat can continue his progressive agenda. For Patrick, the key difference between Coakley and Baker is that she’s focused on the people of the Commonwealth.

“The governor sees people not just math, not just line items, not just abstract policy,” Patrick said. “That is what her professional life has been about. That is what her platform and campaign has been about, and that’s what I believe her administration will be about.”

Patrick remained confident about Coakley’s chances, even as several polls predict that her Republican opponent will win by a comfortable margin.

“If we get out our vote, we win,” Patrick said.

Still, the governor seemed prepared for whatever happens.

“The beauty of a democracy is that the people can decide,” he said, “and we trust the people to decide to change course if they want to.”

Patrick also offered advice to his successor, who will have little time to savor his or her victory. There will be Cabinet secretaries to pick, and a budget will need to be filed within weeks of the January inauguration.


His advice on filling Cabinet posts is simple: “Get really good people, from a variety of backgrounds. Get people who don’t necessarily agree with you, people who help fill your gaps. There is not much in the way of money or comfort to offer people -- but they will get the ride of their lives.”

There is one thing Patrick would have done differently after he won the first time in 2006. He chose to hunker down to work on his first budget, but what he should have done was to spend more time building relationships.

“While doing the homework, keep communicating with the public,” Patrick said. “They’re interested in what you’re thinking, where you are headed, and how you’re organizing your thoughts.”

Shirley Leung is a Globe columnist. She can be reached at shirley.leung@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @leung.