Monomoy High School Hosts Democratic Gubernatorial Debate

Left-Right: Jay Gonzalez, Setti Warren and Bob Massie

HARWICH – The three candidates vying for the Democratic nomination for governor in Massachusetts took part in a debate Monday night at Monomoy Regional High School in Harwich.

Setti Warren, Bob Massie and Jay Gonzales were all on hand for the event, as they seek their party’s nomination to challenge incumbent Republican Governor Charlie Baker, the wildly popular centrist incumbent.

The debate was managed entirely by students attending the school including the asking of questions, timing, and lighting and sound operations.

Topics covered a wide variety of issues including guns, school violence and security, the environment, alternative energy, the Pilgrim Nuclear Power Plant, education, jobs, transportation, minimum wage, income inequality, healthcare, taxes, affordable housing, infrastructure, immigration, and opioid abuse and treatment.

Despite the array of issues covered, there was little disagreement about where the candidates stood:

Guns – Ban assault weapons and manufacturing.

The Environment – Climate change is the single biggest issue facing the state, country, and planet.

Alternative energy – We need much more of it.

Pilgrim – Close it.

Jobs – We will get more jobs when we move toward 100% renewable energy

Education – We don’t spend enough on public education, should be entirely state funded as should public college.

Transportation – Investments should be made to make public transportation more efficient and available.

Minimum Wage – Raise it to $15

Taxes – Raise them on the wealthy, support the “Millionaire’s Tax”.

Affordable Housing – We need more of it.

Healthcare – We need to move toward a single-payer system

Opioid Abuse – An issue of public health not criminality.

Immigration – We need to welcome those in pursuit of a better life.

In the two-hour debate, the candidates took numerous shots at Baker for being ineffectual on the issues but found little to argue about amongst themselves, leading to an incredibly civil, though somewhat unexciting event.

Warren, an Iraq War veteran and two-term mayor of Newton who worked in the Clinton White House and in John Kerry’s U.S. Senate office, was the first to take on the sitting governor last night.

“Me and Charlie Barker have a very clear difference on how to deal with the defining issue of our time – economic inequality,” he said in a comment echoed by his primary opponents, “I believe that we have to ask people who are doing really well in this economy to contribute a little more so that we can make investments at that.”

The only statement made to differentiate the candidates came when Massie, an alum of Princeton, Yale, and Harvard, suggested that he was the most passionate Democrat in the race.

“I am, I think, the fieriest, boldest progressive in this race,” he asserted, “I believe that we need to protect the basic liberties of our nation which include, not just our political liberties, but our economic rights.”

Jay Gonzales, who was appointed Secretary of Administration and Finance in the administration of Governor Deval Patrick, and later served as Chairman of the Board of the Massachusetts Health Connector, attempted to tie Baker to the president’s policies.

“With Trump taking us backwards every single day, it is more important than ever that we are leading right her in Massachusetts, but we’re not leading under Charlie Barker. He is a status quo, wait and see governor and it’s not good enough.”

He continued, “We need a governor who is going to see the way the world should be and take us to that place.”


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