Tim Murray is not running for Governor in 2014

Big news in MA-Gov world:

Lt. Gov. Timothy P. Murray will not run for governor in 2014, citing the demands of campaigning, serving in elected office and his desire to spend more time with his wife and two young daughters.

“I’ve decided that I am not going to run for governor,” the former Worcester mayor told the Telegram & Gazette this morning, ending speculation among many and hope among his supporters that he would try to succeed Gov. Deval L. Patrick next year.

Whatever the reasons, that sounds like a final decision, and it throws 2014 wide open.  Among other things, it opens up the backing of the sitting Governor, who would have backed Murray in a contested primary.

“If he chose to be a candidate, I was with him. He was my candidate. I’ve seen him in action. I’ve seen his intellect and heart, and I hope his time will come,” Mr. Patrick said.

So.  Steve Grossman is almost certainly in; today’s announcement makes his entry into the race even more likely.  Don Berwick said he was interested, and maybe he’s more interested now.  State Senator Dan Wolf also made noises of interest.  Martha Coakley, Mike Capuano, and Bill Galvin seem perpetually interested.  Carmen Ortiz already said she wasn’t running; the Swartz debacle makes that certain.

Who’s your candidate?

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39 Comments . Leave a comment below.
  1. You beat me by a minute, David!

    Check the recent posts – this thread wasn’t yet started when I opened a new post!

    I would back Steve Grossman, but I don’t want to commit to anyone just yet. I wonder if Mike Capuano is interested?

  2. I would have been with Murray

    I like his experience as a mayor, his commitment to cities and towns, and his focus on transportation issues.

    I am NOT with Grossman – based on his earlier “lower the sales tax” remark connected to gaining additional sales tax revenue from online sales. If he thinks the Commonwealth is so flush with funds that we can lower tax rates, he’s out of touch with my world.

    My first choice is Capuano. If he’s in, I’m with him.

    • I was leaning toward Murray also

      Barring some new disclosures about the Chelsea Housing Authority, I would likely have supported Murray. He seemed both interested and effective in the nuts and bolts of governing, and he cared about local issues. I agree with Pablo about his commitment to cities and towns and transportation issues.

      I have different criteria for aan executive office like governor than I do for a legislator. For governor, how a candidate stands on policy is important to me but not enough. I have to be convinced someone has the communication and management skills to actually head something like the Massachusetts executive branch, not simply agree with me on the largest number of policies.

      So I don’t have a favorite yet, will have to take a good look at the frontrunners.

    • Ditto

      My impression and experience with the Treasurer is that he is an elitist opportunist who has paved his political path with a lot of money/donations and favors to many along the way. There are serious questions about his eagerness to expand lottery (regressive policy), casino gambling and the power of his current office with ABCC to assess bringing back “Happy Hour,” a leading contributor to drinking and driving not to mention campaign contributions. Too slick for me.

      I wish LG Murray great success in his future endeavors. I have been fortunate to have worked for his campaigns. Knowing his sincere work ethic and passion for public service, I expect a great second term for him free of the burden of a gubernatorial campaign.

      The Patrick-Murray administration set a high-bar for how the Gov-LG offices can set policy and accomplish directives through respect and partnership.

  3. 8th paragraph

    It was strange that the actual announcement was in the middle of the 8th paragraph of the email.

    My shortlist:
    Attorney General Martha Coakley
    Mayor Lisa Wong
    Mayor Kim Driscoll
    former Sheriff Andrea Cabral
    Mayor Setti Warren

    who else?

    • Mayor Lisa Wong

      There is so much to admire, there.

      On a tactical note, if she had her eye on running for MA-03, say in 2016, a run for Gov would be a nice way to beat the bushes outside of Fitchburg. Très Legit!

  4. My friend Lt. Governor Tim Murray has served the people of the Commonwealth effectively and with a profound love for our state. I understand his decision and applaud his primary focus on his wife and wonderful daughters.

    Tim has been Gov. Patrick’s partner in moving the Commonwealth forward and leading us out of the Great Recession stronger and faster. It is the same kind of success he enjoyed as the Mayor of Worcester, where he set the second largest city in New England on a path to the 21st century. I know he will continue to be an important part of leading us forward as a Commonwealth on so many issues and I’m glad for that.

    Politically, Tim’s decision throws the 2014 Democratic primary field wide open. If he had decided to run, with the full support of Governor Patrick, Tim would have been a formidable entry in the field. With both offices now open in 2014, I am looking forward to spirited primaries that will highlight the deep pool of talent in the Democratic Party. If our eventual nominees prove to be as good as Deval Patrick and Tim Murray, I’m confident of success.

    John Walsh, Chair
    Massachusetts Democratic Party

    • Tim

      Living just South of Worcester, I have watched Tim since I moved to Massachusetts. I know he screwed up and probably he could not have won but I have always been impressed by the intensity of his dedication to the best principles of the Democratic Party. I have no idea whom I will support but I know I will miss him.

      • Agreed

        I’ve always been impressed with him, too, and he’s worked so hard for our state — and I think has worked incredibly well with Gov Patrick as a team, which has really benefited the state too. He definitely deserves kudos for a (hard) job very well done.

  5. wow

    This really is going to be a donneybrook, but in a good way.

    Gott say, Andrea Cabral is at the top of my favorites list for Gov or Lt Gov. Either one of those jobs takes ability to be an executive, smarts and gravitas. She’s got all those things, I think she is one of our party’s (and state’s) great stars.

    Berwick is extremely intriguing to me, but I need to see/hear a lot more to evaluate if he could be a candidate and a strong executive leader.

    Capuano is also interesting to me, given his record of exec leadership in Somerville and how much he knows about how the federal government works — given how important that interface is to our state’s economy. Again, I would need to be sold on whether he can run a legit campaign, especially given his performance against Coakley for Senate.

    Getting a strong woman elected as Gov of this state would be fantastic — the two Mayors that alex listed above sound like very interesting candidates.

    Can’t say I feel that excited re: Coakley, but if the race is this wide open I suppose it’s inevitable she will toss her hat in the ring. I question how much support she’ll get from party activists in a large diverse field filled with, imo, much more exciting and interesting candidates. Will be very interesting to see how the $$$ race shakes out.

    Never a dull moment in the Commonwealth, eh? :-)

  6. Good to hear

    Murray has always seemed to me as a pol who at any moment could get hit with an indictment. Just not the type of guy I feel I can trust. Also, not terribly progressive on many issues. I’m glad he’s not running.

    I’m worried Grossman could run away with this, especially with a big money advantage. I think he’s fine, but also much too much a big D democrat (for my taste).

    I really like Capuano as a Rep and think he would make a great Governor, but of the names out there, Wolf and Berwick interest me the most.

    I think Wolf is just fantastic, but I could see him have trouble developing broad appeal. Great progressive, though. He could have a Cape Air plane repurposed as a campaign plane for Western MA visits.

    Berwick is fabulous at what he does, but I want to hear his views on other issues. I see him having a campaign problem of how to position himself as a superior health policy thinker and administrator in a state that is already on the cutting edge of health policy and will have just completed initiating a second major set of health policies in less than a decade plus initiated ACA policies. It’s obvious that we need to do more in that realm, but I worry that there could be health policy fatigue in 2014.

  7. Doesn't change much for me.

    I was leaning Grossman before this announcement and still am. Being a constitutional officer he’s probably the favorite if he remains the only one of those in the race. Doubleman, can you elaborate on what you mean by Grossman being too much of a big D Democrat?

    • I have a bad feeling about the Lottery

      I’m not sure this is fair to Grossman (whose family’s lumber
      company I remember from my youth), but I was really unhappy
      to hear him on the radio the other day talking about getting
      more revenue out of the Lottery (e.g., not losing market share
      to the casinos). Unlike most things the state government does,
      taking money from the mathematically uninformed is not a public
      good and more of it is not necessarily better. (I’m not comfortable
      with advertising it, either.)

      I agree he’s in the best starting position, and his stands on most
      contentious issues are basically ok with me as far as I know.

      I can’t speak for Doubleman, but part of Deval’s appeal was that he
      had not previously held office and was challenging “Beacon Hill” in
      the primary. Grossman or Coakley (whom I have not yet forgiven for
      losing to Brown, BTW) would be identified with the Dem establishment
      which could hurt them against a strong Republican. An outsider would
      be better, but you need someone who would know what they were

    • A favorite?

      It’s been almost two decades since a Constitutional Officer (aside from Acting Governor) was elected to the post permanently.

      I like the idea of a wide-open primary dominating coverage from Scott Brown’s announcements of coronation planning.

      sabutai   @   Fri 18 Jan 7:48 PM
      • Favorites who later lose...

        There’s a definite pattern where the constitutional officer is the apparent favorite well before the election, and then gets beaten in the primary campaign by an outsider (Silber 1990, Patrick 2006). The constitutional officer starts wih better name recognition, at least among the politically aware.

  8. Great respect for Tim Murray and his decision to focus on being a father. His first daughter arrived when he was starting off his race for Lieutenant Governor. The whole time he has been a father he has been either running for, or holding, state wide office. Thank you for your many years of service.

  9. Martha Coakley.

    For now, but I’m keeping an open mind.

    • Lean Grossman-would love a dark horse

      If Grossman runs he likely gets the nod, could beat Baker or Brown in a general and would be just fine. A fiscally competent socially progressive leader could cement Devals legacy.

      I like where people are at looking at Mayors, I’d second all listed and add Joe Curtatone. Rumor is, he is looking at LG-but I think he’d make a great Governor. I’ve been talking up Brownsberger a lot too but he is my favorite State Senator (uphill climb though). Salem relatives say Driscoll will throw in for LG and think she’s been a mixed bag as Mayor. From what I saw she seemed competent and the city is taking off in a lot of neat ways.

      I guess we won’t know the GOP side until Browns out.

  10. Interested in Don Berwick

    I’ll be following Dr. Berwick’s path in the run-up to the election. I’ve heard him speak, and I was impressed. I would have supported Tim, of course, as a Worcester girl myself, but now that he has left the field, it’s time to think outside the box again.

  11. Glad he's not running

    I’m among those who is relieved that the Lieutenant Governor will not be running. In my view, his very prominent role in creating the debacle that is the Patrick administration’s policy on homeless families disqualifies him.

    • So you would turn Patrick out on this issue?

      read the article you linked…Murray is not even mentioned in it…Yvonne Abraham is talking about Gov. Patrick and Housing Director Gorstein’s efforts to get the hundreds of families/children currently “temporarily” housed for months and months on end in highway motels finally placed into permanent housing. You say this new policy would disqualify the Lt. Gov. from running for Governor!!??` So, because this is Gov. Patrick’s own policy are you saying it disqualifies Deval from being Governor?

      • The shelter debacle

        The Lt. Gov. is generally recognized as being the administration’s point person on homelessness issues.

        Everyone agrees that permanent housing is preferable to a hotel room. Problem is, there’s not enough permanent housing. And to find funds to pay for the creation of more, the administration is turning first to eliminating the family shelter program through cruel and arbitrary restrictions on eligibility. The whole situation is is like a nutritionist addressing the problem of a diet of empty calories by prescribing a diet of no calories.

        If you don’t believe me, here are the views of the Executive Director of Rosie’s Place, one of the social services agencies attempting to deal with the aftermath. She testified at a hearing in October.

        In the last six weeks, we have seen a sharp increase in the number of women seeking shelter at our morning lottery, having left their children with family and friends; women and young children visiting Rosie’s Place during the day after being denied shelter by DHCD and being told that Rosie’s Place would help them; homeless mothers calling my Overnight staff from hospital emergency rooms in the middle of the night; and calls from other providers looking for advice for the homeless families sitting in their reception halls.

        Specifically, during the last seven days alone, we have:

        Provided services to a woman who was told to leave the DHCD office by a security guard because her baby was crying when she didn’t have any more milk. This guest was denied shelter by the receptionist….

        Provided food, water, sanitary pads and a coat to a woman who was three days post partum following a C-section, and required by DHCD to physically come to their Dudley Street office from the hospital to apply for emergency shelter.

        Talked to a woman via telephone at 11:30 p.m. who was calling from the BMC emergency room, where she and her toddler were sleeping.

        The current manner in which the Commonwealth is administering access to its emergency shelter system is cowardly and inhumane. Allowing receptionists to tell families they are ineligible for shelter, or permitting the Department of Children and Families to delay assessing whether a car or hallway is fit shelter is inexcusable. Pretending there are fewer homeless people because you are allowing fewer homeless people into shelter is shameful.

        You ask a fair question whether I think this disqualifies Deval. I’m glad I don’t need to wrestle with that one.

        • Murray is trying to fix the system you speak of...

          Murray has been trying to fix the inadequacies of this system…it needs fixing…especially putting an end to housing mothers and their kids in motel rooms with an illegal hot plate next to major highways…he can’t solve every problem alone but he is one elected official who has given more than lip service to the problem and is in fact making progress.

    • Good man done wrong

      I’m not sure why the Globe and the Democratic Party establishment worked so hard to successfully end the political career of Tim Murray — I think he was a good man done wrong.

      If he is at fault in the housing authority scandal (as opposed to being himself a victim of it), then I welcome a full expose. It’s the relentless distortion of the facts about his accident that really sticks in my craw.

      Mr. Murray was NOT driving at high speeds the night he died. His vehicle (a police-model Crown Victoria) could not have accomplished the acceleration falsely reported in the Globe (and other media). The speedometer measures the speed of the wheels, not the vehicle. The black-box correctly reported that the wheels spun at a high rate just before and during his accident — confirming that he skidded on ice, just as he said.

      I really grow weary of the relentless repetition in the Globe of the lie that he was driving recklessly. He was not. If the powers that be had or have something real on Tim Murray, they should report that.

      The deceitful red herring about his accident is flagrant lie.

      • Couple of questions, Somerville Tom

        How did the Dem Party establishment work so hard to end Murray’s career. He had plenty of backing from activists and DSC members as far as I could tell, as well as I’m sure his share of support in the legislature.

        Also, who died in the first sentence of your third paragraph? Obviously not Tim Murray.

        • Quite a typo!

          One assumes Tom meant “crashed.”

        • typo -- read it metaphorically

          Yes, I was thinking “the night he crashed”, and also that his political career died that night. My fingers reached too far into my thoughts.

          I don’t have time to pull up the links right now, but there has been a groundswell of opposition to Mr. Murray from Democratic Party insiders. The car crash (two years ago) happened as the groundswell was building. When I get a chance, I’ll pull up some links to flesh out what I’m referring to.

          I know that we discussed the dishonest reporting of the car crash at some length here. The spinning-wheels explanation was confirmed by a more in-depth follow-on investigation whose report was issued after the initial buzz died down. The Globe dutifully reported on the follow-on, including acknowledging that those experts agreed that his vehicle could not have achieved the speeds reported by the Globe.

          Like all too many such matters, that truth was buried in the back pages and promptly forgotten, while the original lies have been repeated over and again. Even in this week’s Noah Bierman piece on Mr. Murray’s withdrawal, Mr. Bierman writes (emphasis mine):

          But on Friday, the 44-year-old Worcester Democrat called it all off. The lieutenant governor said he wanted to spend time with his family, not run for governor in 2014. Murray, however, had also been contending with some political baggage, including low poll numbers, a mysterious high-speed car crash on an early morning in 2011, and a political friendship with a former housing authority director now under a joint federal and state investigation.


          “Mysterious”? There’s nothing “mysterious” about skidding on ice on a cold winter night. In my view, it’s just more character assassination by a journalistic community that — for some reason — carefully skates along the edge of libel when it comes to Mr. Murry.

          It leaves me wondering what the real truth is.

          • Speculation sells "papers"

            I don’t know if there is a nefarious “real truth” anywhere to be had but I do know from observation that an unsoiled popular LG (D) in the Commonwealth running for an open Governor’s seat would not gin-up much controversy or media buy-time.

            The recent POTUS race was a hideous example of MSM manipulating the campaign coverage to promote an illusion that it was a nail-biter, close race. Even an intellectually gifted guy like Mitt drank the Kool-Aid about himself being in the lead…..wonder where those fireworks went?

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