Baker, Sununu targeted by EMILYs List as 2022 governor race loom

April 13, 2021

Boston Herald: Baker, Sununu targeted by EMILY's List as 2022 governor race loom

By: Lisa Kashinsky

EMILYs List, a group that works to elect Democratic women supporting abortion rights, has set Republican Gov. Charlie Baker in its crosshairs for 2022.

The political action committee put Baker and fellow New England GOP Govs. Chris Sununu of New Hampshire and Phil Scott of Vermont “on notice” on Tuesday as it unveiled its first round of “targets” for the 2022 election cycle.

EMILY’s list says each of the Republicans its zeroing in on failed to use their offices to “improve the lives of families across their states.”

“When faced with an unprecedented public health crisis, they prioritized politics over people and took cues from a willfully ignorant former president rather than informed experts,” EMILYs List Executive Director Emily Cain said in a statement. “We need governors who place the public good over their personal and partisan political agendas.”

Baker openly criticized the Trump administration’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic. And the governor faced lawsuits challenging both his business closures and his sweeping executive power under the pandemic state of emergency.

A PAC spokesman told the Herald that Baker has a target on his back because he vetoed legislation last session that codified abortion rights into state law — the Legislature overrode the governor’s veto — and opposed later-term access to abortions and allowing minors to seek the procedure without parental or judicial consent.

“Governor Baker has taken several actions in office that have undermined women’s control over their own health care choices,” PAC spokesman Benjamin Ray said.

Baker has yet to decide whether he’ll seek a somewhat unprecedented third term. The Republican governor holds a higher approval rating among Democrats and independents than within his own party, according to a UMass Amherst/WCVB poll last month.

The Democratic Governors Association said it views Baker as “increasingly vulnerable” should he run again.

EMILYs List previously supported state Attorney General Maura Healey, a possible contender for governor in 2022 who’s already raking in campaign cash.

The PAC’s list of 2022 targets also includes Republican U.S. Sens. Marco Rubio of Florida, Chuck Grassley of Iowa and Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, as well as Govs. Ron DeSantis of Florida, Brian Kemp of Georgia, Kim Reyolds of Iowa, Mike DeWine of Ohio, Henry McMaster of South Carolina and Greg Abbott of Texas.