Jay Gonzalez: ‘Massachusetts problems need real leadership’

Wicked Local Georgetown

The Needham Democrat sat down with Wicked Local to talk about his run for governor in 2018.

If former health insurance executive Jay Gonzalez has his way, he’ll be facing off against Gov. Charlie Baker – also a former health insurance executive – in November 2018′s gubernatorial general election.

Gonzalez, 45, is running for the Democratic nomination next year and sat down with staff at Wicked Local recently to discuss the issues that drive him, his hopes for the Bay State and where he feels Baker has fallen short.

“We’ve always been a leader, in Massachusetts in particular, if you think about it,” Gonzalez said. “We started the Revolutionary War, were the first [state] to establish a public school, first to recognize one’s right to marry whoever they love, to make universal health insurance coverage a reality, and the list goes on and on and on. It’s who we are, who we’ve always been. We’ve always been a leader, and I’m running for governor because I want us to be a leader again.”

A little about Gonzalez: He was raised in Cleveland, Ohio. His mother, a longtime Cleveland resident, studied abroad in Spain in college and brought back with her a 19-year-old husband from Spain and was already pregnant with Jay.

Gonzalez’s father started out in America laying bricks for city sewers, but eventually would become a citizen and run his own small business. Gonzalez’s mother, who dropped out of college to raise him, would eventually go back to college to become a teacher.

“They put three sons through college and literally lived the American dream,” the Needham resident reflected.

Gonzalez attended college in Dartmouth, N.H., and then Georgetown Law School in Washington, D.C., before returning to Cleveland, working for a law firm there. He later decided to move to Boston, where he worked for the law firm of Palmer & Dodge, which specialized in counseling cities and towns on public finance of projects.

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