Moderate Republican and businessman Chris Doughty will jump into the governor’s race, his campaign announced, building out what’s so far been a sparse field of GOP candidates.
“With the right team, a little creativity and a willingness to work hard, just about any problem can be solved,” the Wrentham Republican said in a two-minute campaign video released Wednesday morning. “This is the same work ethic and teamwork I will bring as your governor.”
Doughty will be up against former Whitman state Rep. Geoff Diehl, who is endorsed by former President Donald Trump.
Doughty, who runs the gear manufacturing company, Capstan Atlantic in Waltham, touted his experience in business over the past three decades building his company from a dozen to now more than 1,000 employees.
As governor, Doughty said he’d work to support businesses, grow jobs and focus on on making Massachusetts more affordable.
Doughty sees investment in public education from early childhood through college and technical skills training as the vital “linchpin” supporting his agenda, he said.
“Massachusetts has become unaffordable for many of our residents and going hand-in-hand with affordability is making sure that our economy fully rebounds and continues to grow. We need to protect our businesses and recruit high-paying, quality jobs to relocate here,” he said. “This is not just a theory or an idea for me. I have been on the frontlines creating jobs for three decades in our state.”
The 59-year-old father of six and grandfather, Doughty is launching his campaign using $500,000 of his own money, according to a Boston Globe report.
Doughty’s campaign launch brings competition to the GOP candidate field in a party that has tilted to the right since Gov. Charlie Baker announced in December that he would not seek a third term in office.
While Baker frequently criticized the former president and Massachusetts voters overwhelmingly rejected him, state Republican Party leaders and Diehl — the only other declared Republican gubernatorial candidate — have embraced Trump and buoyed his beliefs that the 2020 election was stolen.
Doughty steered clear of mentions of the former president in his campaign launch video, but it’s likely to be a hot topic of discussion on the road to the September primary.
Doughty also didn’t touch on his stance on other Republican values like voting rights and abortion.
“We’ll talk about it more in the next 11 months,” Doughty said in closing, noting that he and his wife are “energized” and “look forward” to meeting voters.
On the Democrat’s side, three candidates are in the running for the governor’s office: Attorney General Maura Healey, state Sen. Sonia Chang-Díaz, and Harvard professor Danielle Allen.