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Should Governor Charlie Baker support a candidate in the presidential race?

YES

Lou Murray

Waltham-based financial planner and an elected Donald Trump delegate to the Republican National Convention

Lou Murray
Lou MurrayHandout

Governor Baker is navigating rocky shoals. Portside is the new "bathroom bill," the shiny trophy of the Democrats and the LBGTQ community. Starboard is a growing armada of Republican sign holders, tea-partiers, and conservative Democrats excited by the populist and nationalistic candidacy of Mr. Trump. Just below the S.S. Baker hull you can hear the dull scraping of a hack barnacle scandal. What's a good-government, country-club Republican to do with his yacht — I mean ship of state?

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Don't panic. This isn't the movie "Titanic.''

I'm a financial planner, not a sailor. I recommend a safely charted course. I'm in the homes and businesses of your Metrowest voters daily. I hear the worries of retirees, young parents, and business owners. Their concerns are your concerns, governor. Nationally, Donald Trump, more than any other candidate, is giving a voice to their frustrations.

Mr. Trump would agree with your statement, governor, that it is "imperative that we provide greater security" and ensure that only those lawfully present in Massachusetts get drivers' licenses. Where Trump wants to strengthen and enforce our national border, you have empowered the Massachusetts State Police to detain illegal alien criminals at the request of federal officials. The parents of Matthew Denice, whose son was killed by a drunk driving illegal alien in 2011, have said their son would be alive today if Donald Trump had been in the White House then.

Mr. Trump and Governor Baker understand that a manufacturing base is critical to the economy. Baker's "Opportunities for All" stimulation package welcomes emerging technologies, and trains a highly-skilled workforce to attract those cutting edge jobs in Massachusetts.

Suffice to say Baker and Trump are in agreement on several other issues, including equal pay, stopping the opioid crisis, affordable childcare, lower taxes, military preparedness, and shrinking big government.

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The path of smooth sailing is clear. Governor Baker must take the middle course to avoid the rocks. Governor Baker should collect a handful of those Democratic mayors and some Republican leaders from around the state for a joint endorsement of Mr. Donald Trump. After all, when President Trump makes America great again, he isn't going to ignore Massachusetts.

NO

Mindy McKenzie-Hebert

Shrewsbury resident, political finance consultant, member of Republican State Committee

Mindy McKenzie-Hebert
Mindy McKenzie-HebertHandout

I support Governor Baker's decision to stay out of the presidential election this year. As governor of the Commonwealth, he works for everyone. He governs Democrats, Republicans, Independents — there are no favorites. Moreover, I believe he has a proven track record of working across the aisle to get things done. In his 21 months in office, he has tackled a deficit budget, too much snow, too little water, and a broken transit system, all the while maintaining a more than 70 percent approval rating. This isn't by accident. It's because our governor works for Massachusetts, getting things done and clearly, evidenced by these polls, the residents approve.

The governor already has a full agenda this election season. There is plenty going on: Baker is advocating strongly for ballot Question 2, believing that lifting the cap on the number of charter schools in Massachusetts will expand educational opportunity. Concerned about the risks that legalized marijuana could present to our public safety and health, he's advocating strongly against ballot Question 4. It goes without saying that the outcome of the administration's efforts to reform the MBTA will be hugely important for the riding public — over a million riders a day. And while Boston is doing well by many economic indicators, there's still plenty of work to do when it comes to building the economy throughout Massachusetts.

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In case you have forgotten, our previous governor was one of President Obama's top campaign surrogates and travelled across the country in 2012. In my opinion, Governor Deval Patrick focused more on politics and book deals than governing. And unfortunately for our Commonwealth, he took his eye off Massachusetts. His mismanagement, in my view, led to scandals at the state's Department of Public Health, the Department of Children and Families, and the Health Connector, all of which cropped up right around that same time. We're lucky to have a governor who, rather than becoming preoccupied with presidential politics, is working hard in and for Massachusetts and leading the way in a bipartisan manner to get things done. Let's hope that Governor Baker's brand of governing will soon be contagious!

Last week's argument: Should Newton adopt term limits for its mayor and City Council?

Yes: 61 percent (11 votes)

No: 44 percent (8 votes)


As told to Globe correspondent John Laidler. He can be reached at laidler@globe.com