Once the most popular governor in America, Charlie Baker has yet to announce whether he'll seek another term next year. The Massachusetts Republican is about three-quarters of the way through his second four-year term and is beginning to show some wear.

Baker has been popular with Republicans and Democrats alike and has not faced a serious challenge from a Democrat opponent in this, the bluest of blue states. Things could be different this time around.

In fact, there has been talk that Baker could face a primary challenge. There was wide speculation that Baker, fatigued by a year of battling the COVID-19 crisis, might be longing for a return to the private sector when this term is complete. Lt. Governor Karyn Polito appeared to be positioning herself as Baker's heir apparent at the top of the ticket.

Something changed recently and Baker has begun to raise money for what could be a re-election bid. Potential candidates for the Republican nomination have begun to simmer down while waiting for Baker to decide what he will do.

There is plenty of action on the Democrat side of things already. Democrats must think that Baker is either going to call it a day or that he is weakened enough to be challenged next year. Former Massachusetts Senator Ben Downing is in. Harvard professor Danielle Allen is promising a decision by June and current Senator Sonia Chang-Díaz is exploring her options.

Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley is thought to be considering a run and Attorney General Maura Healey is sounding more and more like a candidate every day.

Should Baker decide to run again and he can get the COVID crisis under control before the campaign season begins in earnest, he could have a real good shot at re-election. If not, my money would be on Pressley or Healey for the Democrat nomination and either one would give Baker a run for his money.

Barry Richard is the host of The Barry Richard Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from noon to 3 p.m. Contact him at barry@wbsm.com and follow him on Twitter @BarryJRichard58. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.

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