With her husband’s second term leading the commonwealth coming to a close in one month, First Lady Lauren Baker called the transition more bittersweet than expected.
Gov. Charlie Baker, who decided last year to not seek a third term, will leave office on Jan. 5 as the nation’s most popular governor.
“We have loved this opportunity to really serve Massachusetts and to see the impact of our work. That’s been incredible, and the whole journey has been pretty mind-blowing,” Lauren Baker told MassLive Wednesday. “But at the same time, we’re excited that we get to choose our next chapter, and we haven’t honestly really decided what that all means yet.”
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Gov.-elect Maura Healey, a Democrat and the state’s attorney general, will succeed Gov. Baker, but has repeatedly sidestepped making concrete promises about what to expect from her incoming administration. She also declined to answer how her leadership style as governor will differ from Baker’s.
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Gov. Baker has ruled out the possibility of running for president in 2024, but his wife said a future in public office could be on the horizon.
“I think he really feels called to this work,” Lauren Baker said. “It’s not like he’s driven to have another elected position, though it’s the work that he really enjoys. I wouldn’t be surprised if he stays engaged somehow in public service. I don’t know what that means, but there’s definitely no plans for us to seek any other elected office.”
For now, the first lady forecast the outgoing governor will “get another job, and he’s going to do something different, but he really doesn’t know what that is yet.”
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The Bakers, who have three children, are eagerly looking ahead to February, when they will welcome their first grandchild. Their middle child is also getting married next year, the first lady said.
“We will have more time, I hope, to spend more time with them and to be more present in their lives,” Lauren Baker said. “Because that’s what this job really takes, it takes away from your ability to be present with your family.”