Governor candidate Gonzalez visits Northampton, gets endorsement

Daily Hampshire Gazette

NORTHAMPTON — As November draws closer, eyes are on Democratic primaries across the country as the party looks to define its opposition to Donald Trump and the Republican Party.

In that context, Northampton Mayor David Narkewicz on Monday took Jay Gonzalez to the Bluebonnet Diner to formally endorse him in the state’s Democratic primary race.

Narkewicz is a regular at the diner, so it is perhaps no surprise that at this time last year he was at the Bluebonnet Diner endorsing Newton Mayor Setti Warren as the best candidate to take on Gov. Charlie Baker. But with Warren dropping out of the race in late April, Narkewicz was left to pick between Gonzalez and author and activist Bob Massie.

“I think Massachusetts needs a governor with a vision,” Narkewicz said of Gonzalez, whom he said he knows from Gonzalez’s time working in former Gov. Deval Patrick’s administration.

Gonzalez was formerly secretary of administration and finance under Patrick, and most recently was president and CEO of the private health care company CeltiCare Health, which he said covered people on Medicaid.

Asked what initiatives of Gonzalez’s he supports, Narkewicz said he expects Gonzalez to be significantly better than Baker on issues like funding transportation, infrastructure improvements and education.

Narkewicz also said Gonzalez will offer immigration policies that stand in direct opposition to the Trump administration’s agenda — unlike Baker, who Narkewicz said has not pushed back enough and has stood in opposition to efforts to make Massachusetts a sanctuary state.

“I will be the governor of the whole state,” Gonzalez said when asked how he would serve western Massachusetts. He said he started his campaign more than 17 months ago to demonstrate that, and has visited the region on multiple occasions.

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2018-07-20T14:39:11+00:00