By Dan Kennedy • The press, politics, technology, culture and other passions

Looking at the Globe’s previous Republican endorsements

Despite The Boston Globe’s reputation as a Democratic paper, its editorial pages have endorsed Republican candidates for governor more often than you might think. Still, today’s editorial endorsing Charlie Baker over Martha Coakley is notable because it is only the second time in recent history that the paper has gone with a Republican over a more liberal Democrat.

Let’s look at the history of Republicans the Globe has endorsed starting in 1970.

  • 1970: The Globe did not endorse in the race between Gov. Frank Sargent, a Republican, and his Democratic opponent, Boston Mayor Kevin White. Winner: Sargent.
  • 1974: Sargent got the nod over a former state representative named Michael Dukakis. Sargent may have been the state’s most liberal governor until Deval Patrick; Dukakis campaigned as that year’s no-new-taxes candidate. Winner: Dukakis, who turned around and imposed a huge tax increase to cover the deficit left behind by the free-spending Sargent.
  • 1978: Dukakis lost the Democratic primary to a conservative, Ed King, whom he had removed as head of Massport. The Globe endorsed Republican Frank Hatch, a moderate who was the minority leader in the Massachusetts House. Winner: King.
  • 1990: The Globe endorsed moderate Republican Bill Weld, a former U.S. attorney, over conservative Democrat John Silber, the president of Boston University. Winner: Weld.
  • 1994: For the only time until now, the Globe chose the more conservative candidate — Weld, a moderate running for re-election, over then-state representative Mark Roosevelt, a liberal Democrat. Winner: Weld.
  • 2014: The Globe endorses Republican Charlie Baker, a moderate Republican, over state Attorney General Martha Coakley, a liberal. Winner: TBD.

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Charlie Baker wins the Globe’s endorsement


Thomas M. Menino, 1942-2014


  1. Mike Benedict

    Even though I’ve been voting Democrat all my life, I’m voting for Baker in this one. He’s simply better prepared in the areas that need the most attention in the Commonwealth, plus he’s less likely to fall in love with oh-so-stupid ideas like spending billions on a train system that no one will use because it doesn’t actually get you where you need/want to go.

    • Jack Sullivan

      @Mike Benedict, Baker has changed his position on South Coast Rail, saying he”s now “open to it.”

  2. Hale Woods

    Who in their right mind would vote for Baker? He’s a one percenter who will help his cronies and screw over the working class, and anyone who thinks otherwise is being conned by his backslapping “have a beer with him” attitude. The better candidate is Coakley by FAR.

    • Mike Benedict

      Well, I guess that says it all!

      Funny, and here I thought all the cronyism was on the Democrats side of the fence, what with Billy Bulger running a protection racket for his murderous brother, three straight (Democrat) speakers of the House convicted of crimes, a Dem. House member admitting he hadn’t even read a bill he “sponsored” to give $17.5 million in tax dollars to one of Sal DiMasi’s kickback artists, a Dem. Lt. Governor leaving under a cloud of suspicion, the medical marijuana dispensary debacle (where all the ex Dem congressmen lined up to feed from the lobbying trough), massive patronage (and more conviction for racketeering) in the Boston Probation Department … the list goes on and on. And perhaps the worst of all was the Chelsea Housing Authority guy who was literally stealing from the poorest people in the state.

      And I’m a Democrat, mind you.

      • James M. Dunne

        A “Democrat” who supports Republican policy positions and is well-versed in Howie Carr talking-points, apparently.

        Baker has been the better-prepared candidate and done a better job articulating his vision. Martha Coakley is this awful combination of someone who is a) entirely charisma-less, but b) chooses to focus on personalist reasons for her candidacy. Instead of her competence she seems to be running on temperament. Those who voted for her in the primary deserve Charlie Baker as a governor. I agree with very little of what Baker says politically, but there’s obviously something to be said to giving straight answers to questions sometimes. Here’s to hoping that Baker is closer to Bill Weld than Mitt Romney.

        Cynical thought: It’s good business for the Globe to endorse Republicans sometimes, and the gaping difference in candidate quality in this cycle has given them the perfect opportunity to do so. It’s a great way for them to distinguish itself from the tabloid rag up the road that endorses Republicans no matter their severe lack of qualifications, demonstrated ability, or willingness to say what they do for a living (see: Gomez, Gabriel).

  3. It still read like a wishy-washy “on the one hand, on the other hand” missive. Typical Globe. I’m only mildly surprised. The Globe’s editorials have been moving more towards the center in recent years.

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