Chris Doughty, a Republican and longtime business owner from Wrentham, launched his campaign for Massachusetts governor on Wednesday morning, striking a moderate tone that stands in sharp contrast to Geoff Diehl, the other GOP gubernatorial candidate endorsed by former President Donald Trump.
Doughty, in a campaign video announcement on social media, said he will focus on making Massachusetts more affordable and ensuring the economy is able to fully rebound. A father of six children who went through the public school system, Doughty described education as the linchpin for revitalizing the state and spurring job growth.
“We need to get back to being the educational leader — not just in America, but in the world,” Doughty said in the video. “We need to continue to invest from early childhood education, all the way through college and trade schools.”
Doughty is the president of Capstan Atlantic, which his LinkedIn profile describes as the East Coast’s largest manufacturer of powder metal parts for auto, truck and appliance industries. In his campaign video, Doughty reflects on how he built the manufacturing business, expanding from just a dozen employees to more than 1,000.
When he confidently started his business, a critical machine broke, Doughty said in the video as he pitched his values of hard work and determination. For the next two weeks, Doughty said, he worked alongside electricians and mechanics to fix the equipment.
“Those initial days sent me on a 30-year path of working together with incredible people from all walks of life to solve difficult problems,” Doughty said. “With the right team, a little creativity and a willingness to work hard, just about any problem can be solved. This is the same work ethic and teamwork I will bring as your governor.”
Doughy has a master’s of business administration degree from the Harvard Business School. He opened his campaign account on Wednesday, according to campaign finance reports.
Diehl had about $104,000 in his account as of Dec. 31.
Doughty joined the gubernatorial field less than a week after Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey entered the Democratic race, emerging as the frontrunner against Harvard political theorist Danielle Allen and state Sen. Sonia Chang-Díaz. Doughty’s announcement also came after Gov. Charlie Baker delivered his final State of the Commonwealth address Tuesday night.
Baker, alluding to the “swirl of chaos of modern life” and disinformation that have sparked bitter political discourse, asked public servants to “knock off the noise” for the sake of voters who want to see bipartisan collaboration.
The governor did not specifically mention any politician or party in his address. But Diehl has fiercely opposed coronavirus-related mandates, including the indoor proof of vaccination requirement that Boston Mayor Michelle Wu implemented earlier this month.
“As our state looks to recover from the pandemic, we need to end mandates that don’t make any sense and that are taking away individual freedom in our state,” Diehl said in a statement Tuesday night following Baker’s remarks. “Chief among these are vaccine mandates for employees and vaccine passports in our cities.”
Yet Doughty, who called himself a “grateful citizen,” made no specific mention of the COVID-19 pandemic in his campaign announcement.