GOP Governor Candidate Doughty: ‘I Can Beat Healey, My Opponent Can’t’
Despite Massachusetts' progressive bonafides, the Commonwealth has mostly been governed by a Democratic supermajority in the legislature and a moderate Republican in the governor's office.
However, with the overwhelmingly popular Republican Governor Charlie Baker on his way out of office and a seemingly indomitable gubernatorial nominee for the Democrats in Attorney General Maura Healey, the GOP's continued occupation of the corner office looks very much imperiled.
The prospect of a complete Democratic takeover of the state government is one of the primary motivators for Republican businessman Chris Doughty's run for governor.
"It's part of the miracle of Massachusetts that for almost 30 years we've had a balanced State House with a fiscally responsible governor and with a very progressive legislature," Doughty said in a recent appearance on WBSM's SouthCoast Tonight. "I think that balance is part of what made Massachusetts so great. I could see we were on the cusp of perhaps losing that and I wanted to get into the race."
Doughty said he's also running to work to reduce the cost of living in the Commonwealth. He cited that Massachusetts is the third-most expensive state in the country to live in and the second-most expensive state in the country to operate a business.
Doughty moved to the Commonwealth in the 1987 with his wife for graduate school, first living in Greater Boston before settling in Wrentham to start a family. In the early 1990s, he invested in a small manufacturing company that made metal parts for major automotive and appliance companies such as GM, Chrysler, John Deere, and Whirlpool. Doughty worked to grow the business to great success, establishing factories across the United States and one factory in Mexico.
Doughty said this experience, among many other things, differentiates him from his Republican primary opponent, former Whitman State Rep. Geoff Diehl.
"The type of person we look for as a governor is a job creator," Doughty said. "Someone that has created jobs, has been part of the economy, that has handled executive-level problems with big budgets and debt, and those types of things that a governor does. I have over 30 years, over three decades, of doing that. My opponent doesn't have any experience with that. He just doesn't have the background and resumé that would even make it through the first screening."
He also labeled Diehl as a "career politician" and highlighted his opponent's recent electoral shortcomings in his bid for state senate and U.S. Senate and cast doubts on his ability to win a general election against Healey.
"He's run three times for office," Doughty said. "He's lost all three times by huge margins, and everybody knows he'll lose this one by a huge margin."
Doughty was asked about the shuttering of a $1billion tax relief package by Beacon Hill due to the recent revelation of a 1986 law that could see a $3 billion budget surplus be returned to the taxpayers of the Commonwealth, and whether or not the Commonwealth had enough financial resources to do both the tax relief and send rebate checks for the surplus.
"Absolutely," Doughty said emphatically. "And that's why I'm running. That's why I'm here. That's why I want people to hire me. We are overspending and overtaxing the State House."
"Did you know that 30 states in America have already lowered taxes significantly in the last two years when inflation occurred? In Massachusetts: zero," he said. "We have done no tax relief and so many states are head of us that we need to catch up to them."
Doughty also said he would consider hiring people from the SouthCoast for high-level positions in his administration if elected.
"Having access to the executive branch is critically important," Doughty said. "We would be delighted to find people who are able and willing to make the commute up to the State House from down here. Maybe with South Coast Rail it's going to open up opportunities to bring in more people up to the State House."
"I really like people to have good jobs where they live because long commutes reduce the quality of life," he said. "So in terms of the economy, I'm hoping that we have good jobs in every sector and every region of the state so that people don't feel like they have to go into Boston to have a good job."
Listen to Marcus' full interview with Republican Gubernatorial candidate Chris Doughty on SouthCoast Tonight.