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GUARDING STATE'S INTERESTS OFTEN LEAVES BAKER AT ODDS WITH REPUBLICANS

By Michael P. Norton
STATE HOUSE NEWS SERVICE

STATE HOUSE, BOSTON, NOV. 13, 2017.....As he tries to shield himself from any blowback over national politics, Republican Gov. Charlie Baker is trying to remain focused on state matters, but finds himself on issue after issue drawn into the national debate.

"My primary interest has been and will continue to be what goes on here in the Commonwealth. Our focus is really on the work," Baker told "On the Record" co-host Janet Wu Sunday morning after she asked him about Republicans falling to Democrats in elections on Tuesday and possible lessons he might take into his own re-election bid.

Baker has forged good working relationships with Democratic legislative leaders, but they hold veto-proof majorities in both branches, have been slow to advance the governor's legislative priorities and are often quick to defy his efforts to hold down spending. Baker has largely shied away from using the bully pulpit to publicly prod his Democratic colleagues, instead often emphasizing his hope for productive efforts.


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