County Commissioner Ron Beaty Exploring Run for Governor

BARNSTABLE – Barnstable County Commissioner Ron Beaty is exploring a run for governor.

Beaty has announced that he is filing a “change of purpose” form with the Commonwealth’s Office of Campaign and Political Finance, the first official step in the process.

“I am seriously giving consideration to running as a Republican candidate for Governor of Massachusetts” said Beaty.

He says that he had originally intended to form an exploratory committee to investigate his chances, but such a distinction does not exist in Massachusetts.

The form officially changes the purpose of Beaty’s campaign committee from one focused on his county election, to one for a statewide constitutional office.

Should he go through with it, Beaty would be the first declared Republican candidate in the race to challenge fellow Republican incumbent Governor Charlie Barker who is widely expected to seek a second term.

“For the last several months, longer even, I’ve spoken to a lot of conservative and moderate Republicans. There is a lot of dissatisfaction and a lot of people have lost confidence in Charlie Baker,” he said.

“I have found it very unfortunate that no one has stepped forward to at least challenge him in a Republican primary election next year.”

He continued, “I think someone needs to at least challenge him to give him a wake-up call.”

Governor Charlie Baker

In emails between Beaty and the Office of Campaign and Political Finance, he clearly expresses his intention to remain in his commissioner’s seat regardless of whether he seeks the state’s highest office.

Since his election last year to the county’s executive board, Beaty has earned admirers and enemies for his relentless pursuit of open meeting law violations, even against his own commission. He picked a very public fight with fellow Republican and 5th Barnstable District State Representative Randy Hunt over a parking space.

And then there’s the shark issue.

Beaty took some public heat for a proposal to bait and kill great white sharks off the Cape’s shores. His proposal was mocked, but Beaty said his supporters will say that at least he is putting solutions forward and starting a conversation.

“I think I question and I challenge the status quo and I think that is what we need to do. When I have the opportunity to explain my positions and proposals there’s a lot of positive feedback,” he said.

“I wasn’t elected to county government to make friends. I was elected to get a job done. Charlie Baker doesn’t seem to be getting much done and he seems to be too chummy with the Democrats.”

Beaty criticized Bakers handling of the state’s economy citing a lowering of the state bond rating, a lack of the traditional sales tax holiday, a state budget deficit and a failure to accurately predict revenue.

Beaty said he relishes the opportunity to debate the governor in public, but first he has to earn himself a spot on the ballot. That requires the support of at least fifteen percent of the Massachusetts GOP delegates.

That won’t be an easy job. According to an array of polling, Baker remains the nation’s most popular governor; about 70 percent of the Massachusetts electorate thinks he is going a good job. But in the bluest of blue states, Baker’s biggest problem could be with his own party.

“There is a lot of dissatisfaction with this gentleman,” said Beaty, “I myself am a conservative Republican. I stand for limited government, lower taxes, adherence to the U.S. Constitution, and individual liberties.”

Beaty has had success appealing to Republican voters locally. In 2014, he won a competitive Republican nomination for the Cape and Islands State Senate seat, eventually losing in the general election to incumbent Dan Wolf.

In last year’s county commission race, Beaty defeated several other candidates, Republican and Democrat.

Beaty has particular aversion to Barker’s at times vocal opposition to President Trump.

“I am a very stanch and very strong supporter of President Trump,” says Beaty, “Charlie Baker has been anything but a supporter of the president from day one. He didn’t even vote for him, he made a big sideshow of leaving his ballot blank. Is the gentleman even a Republican?”

Beaty says that he plans to spend the upcoming weeks and months exploring what a statewide election would mean, the financial obligations and so on, as well as getting the delegates that will be necessary at the republican convention next year

“I would definitely like to be governor of Massachusetts and I think I could do a lot of good,” he said.

“I think there’s a lot of people who don’t like the way things are who would support a real Republican, like myself, who believes in limited government and conservative fiscal policy.”

Beaty expects to make a final decision by the end of the year.

By DAVID BEATTY, CapeCod.com NewsCenter

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