Four years ago, this newspaper endorsed the candidacy of Deval Patrick because of what we saw in him: The promise of a transformational leader who would bring change to state government.
Four years later, we endorse his candidacy for a more concrete reason: Because he has earned it.
Gov. Patrick has guided the Commonwealth through the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. He has done it with poise, professionalism and with a sense of purpose that has paid off: The Massachusetts economy is now growing at twice the rate of the rest of the nation.
While unemployment remains high following the global financial meltdown of 2008, the Commonwealth has added jobs in the last six consecutive months and there are many other encouraging signs that Massachusetts is positioned to leap past most other states in job creation. None of this is accidental. Patrick has shepherded Massachusetts through the most severe crisis of the last 80 years and he has distinguished himself and his administration in the process.
Even while managing a fiscal crisis of historic proportions, the governor has assembled an impressive list of accomplishments:
• On his watch, test scores for Massachusetts students for reading surpassed every other state in the nation;
• He pushed through important reforms in the way the Commonwealth treats former prisoners who have done their time by re-writing our CORI laws, and that promises to help thousands of people overcome a major obstacle to employment and upward mobility;
• He stood his ground against a powerful lobby to support the creation of the nation’s first-ever off-shore wind farm, Cape Wind, which will give our state a new edge in job creation and clean energy.
The list goes on and on.
Deval Patrick has been accessible and present in our communities in a way that no governor has been in recent years. He has walked the streets, greeted families touched by tragedy, and responded swiftly and personally to appeals for help.
And he made it a personal priority to advocate – successfully – for important investments in our communities, including funding to help build-out new community health center facilities all across the Commonwealth. We see the governor in our neighborhood -- he is a neighbor in Milton. Patrick is a regular at local barber shops, restaurants, and stores – and not just when the cameras are there. He and his family are genuine members of our community. He has a personal rapport with leaders and everyday folks alike, all of whom keep him tuned into the needs of the city’s residents.
Patrick has been much maligned by his opponents, who snidely call for voters to “Dump Deval” and give up on “hope.” But this governor has brought out the best in people no matter their political affiliation. He has been a steadfast, level-headed, and responsible steward of the public trust in the face of daunting responsibilities and a sometimes angry public. In short, Deval Patrick is the prototype of the sort of person everyone should want to have in public service.
Deval Patrick deserves our respect. He deserves our support. He deserves another term as our governor. And we are proud to endorse his candidacy once again.