The Worcester Telegram & Gazette yesterday endorsed the Patrick/Murray ticket for Governor and Lieutenant Governor of Massachusetts. This is a surprising endorsement given the T&G's conservative politics - the paper endorsed George W. Bush for President in 2000 and 2004. The paper also endorsed conservative Independent William Szych against incumbent Democrat John Olver in this year's First Congressional District race. This observer had been expecting the T&G to line up with Kerry Healey as well.
Given the paper's conservative leanings, and the importance of Central Massachusetts to the prospects of the Republican Gubernatorial ticket, the Healey/Hillman campaign should regard the T&G's endorsement of Deval Patrick as a very serious setback.
The presence of Worcester's mayor on the ticket played a role in the T&G's decision, as did the "off-putting campaign of his Republican opponent, Lt. Gov. Kerry M. Healey." The conclusion of the endorsing editorial is worth quoting at length.
While some voters may conclude that Mr. Patrick’s entanglement in the legal maneuverings of a convicted rapist was ill-conceived, the cynical campaign of fear Ms. Healey wove around the episode was a far graver lapse of judgment on her part. The ploy has backfired, deservedly, not only failing to attract the voters she and her handlers thought it might win over, but also driving away supporters whose sense of fair play has been deeply offended by the campaign. While Gov. Mitt Romney and Ms. Healey have made some notable accomplishments, the confrontational relationship with the overwhelmingly Democratic Legislature has severely limited their effectiveness. We find credible Mr. Patrick’s determination to build a relationship based on collaboration and mutual respect and believe that the Patrick-Murray team would be a change in the right direction.