Cheung, a three-term Cambridge city councilor, is the strongest candidate by dint of his determination to reject the past uses of the job as a political liaison with strong links to patronage. Instead, he plans to advocate for broadband access and high-tech jobs to underserved areas.
While not having much respect for the current overall status of the LG office in Massachusetts, the Boston Globe clearly respected the qualifications and vision of candidate for LG Leland Cheung. In a race with low voter awareness, the Globe’s endorsement offers a higher profile for Cheung, who got into the race late but has consistently polled first of second among the small percentage of voters making a choice for LG.
Cheung, however, has an entirely different and more ambitious vision for the job, a keener understanding of why it’s fallen into disrepute, and a promising record in elected office. While he plans to maintain Murray’s municipal portfolio, Cheung says he will not get involved in political hiring. Instead, Cheung wants to serve as a liaison to the innovation economy. He boasts of being the only candidate in the race (or, likely, any other statewide race) who knows how to write computer code. Cheung’s competent record on the Cambridge council suggests he has a knack for using low-profile jobs effectively, having advocated for preserving office space for small startups and helping innovative companies like Bridj take root in the city. Cheung also shows some reform inclinations: He favors abolishing the archaic Governor’s Council and changing the state constitution to make lieutenant governor a more meaningful office.
I freely admit I am not a big fan of newspaper endorsements. While they may bring visibility, they don’t bring campaign volunteers or a GOTV operation. And some of the Globe’s recent endorsements have been backhanded at best (yes I mean the Ryan for DA “hoping she won’t make more mistakes” editorial).
The Globe clearly shares the opinion of many that the LG’s office has no direct purpose and little impact (until it is of major importance as they point out). Yet the Globe also views Leland Cheung as the candidate who can change the direction of the office and the impact it can have.