NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Local News

August 1, 2013

Patrick passes Weld as longest serving governor since Dukakis

(Continued)

“I think it was a certain tone-deafness coming into office,” said Jones, who said those controversial purchases proved to be “in the grand scheme of things, seemingly inconsequential.”

After a campaign featuring far fewer promises than his first one, Patrick won re-election in 2010, defeating Republican Charlie Baker, and pledged to fill out the rest of his term and then enter the private sector. Earlier this year, Patrick’s longtime No. 2 in the Statehouse, former Lt. Gov. Tim Murray, departed the administration to head up the chamber of commerce in Worcester, the city where he was a city councilor and mayor before running statewide and joining Patrick on the Democratic ticket.

Because Weld was sworn in Jan. 3, 1993, and left office June 29, 1998, and Patrick was sworn in Jan. 4, 2007, Wednesday, July 31, was the day that Patrick surpasses Weld in longevity behind the wheel of the state. Dukakis, who spent three terms, two of which were consecutive, as governor, is the longest-serving governor of the state. Next year, Patrick will be the fourth longest serving governor of Massachusetts in the history of the nation, following behind Levi Lincoln Jr., who helmed for nine years from 1825 to 1834, and then won election to Congress, the state Senate and finally the Worcester mayoralty in 1845.

Three governors served for seven or more years since the United States gained independence. They are Caleb Strong, who served a total of 11 years in the early 19th century, John Brooks, who fought at Concord and Bunker Hill in the revolution and served as governor for seven years, and George Briggs, who was governor for seven years about a decade before the Civil War.

Patrick’s luring of Walsh away from the state party to join his political action committee sparked new questions of whether Patrick has his eyes on the Oval Office, an ambition Patrick has never publicly entertained. Walsh, who Patrick said had asked him to run for president, said that while Patrick is “always open to input, which is one of his greatest strengths,” he expects his decisions to stand and he has made his mind up against running for the office.

“No. I’m not encouraging him to run for president anymore. He’s made his decision,” Walsh said.

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