Baker chooses Tisei for lieutenant governor
Republican Charles D. Baker has chosen Senate minority leader Richard R. Tisei to join him in the gubernatorial race.
"Throughout his career in public service, Richard has built a solid voting record as a fiscal conservative and a reformer of state government," said Baker at the formal announcement of his selection in Tisei’s hometown of Wakefield Nov. 23. "If, on Election Day, the people of this Commonwealth stand behind our vision for helping future generations put their stake in the ground and pursue their dreams at home in Massachusetts, Richard Tisei will help the Baker Administration get the job done."
If elected, Tisei would be the first openly gay person to win statewide office in Massachusetts.
Patrick Guierriero, an openly gay Republican chosen by Jane Swift to run as lieutenant governor in 2002, views Baker’s selection as the next logical step in a state that is growing ever more welcoming to the LGBT community. "It speaks volumes to the fact that we’ve reached a point where individuals are selected on their character and their political credentials, and not their sexual orientation," he said.
In the eight years since he was chosen as Swift’s running mate, Guierriero said, Massachusetts has entered a "post-gay" political period. "[Eight years ago,] the conversation around sexual orientation was very intense; this was prior even to the marriage equality decision in Massachusetts," Guierriero said. "I remember that day, I was live on TV with Wolf Blitzer. It was a national story, that you’d pick someone openly gay to run for lieutenant governor."
Contrary to eight years ago, Guierriero expects that Massachusetts residents will now be less inclined to vote based on LGBT issues, but will focus on issues "like family security and the resilience of the Massachusetts economy."
Tisei publicly came out as gay on Nov. 19 during an interview with the Boston Globe.