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Gov. Charlie Baker: Decision Not To Run For Third Term Was 'Complicated And Difficult'

BOSTON (CBS) – Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker called it a "very complicated and difficult decision" for himself and Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito not to run for a third term in office.

Baker and Polito made the announcement Wednesday morning.

"It was a very complicated and difficult decision for a lot of reasons," Baker said. "We both love the work, we love the people and we love the experience that comes with this."

Baker said the COVID pandemic has been a massive challenge during the last year-plus. He also said the pandemic recovery was one of the reasons he decided not to run.

"We believe it's most important we spend the next year focusing on that and not focusing on, let's call it the discourse, and that's probably an insult to the word discourse, that comes with political campaigning," Baker said.

"We still have a year's worth of work to do here. And we're very excited about it here and believe there's a lot of good work that can be done over the next year."

Baker was asked about MassGOP chairman Jim Lyons' statement that claimed Baker decided not to run because he was "shaken by President Trump's endorsement" of Republican candidate Geoff Diehl.

"No. Not shaken. Not at all. Nope," Baker said.

Polito said she had lengthy discussions with her family about the decision not to run.

"Coming through this process, and it's been a very difficult one to come to this decision, I had some real heart to hearts with my family about 'How do you feel about doing this again?' Polito said. "The feeling is we'd really like to spend some time with mom. We've got some really neat things going on in our lives in these upcoming years. Let's take the time to balance that out. Any public servant would tell you that, no matter what position you're in, there are sacrifices that come with these jobs."

Baker was also asked about former Boston Mayor Marty Walsh's rumored interest in running for governor. Baker said he spoke with Walsh on Wednesday, but not about if Walsh was interested in the job.

When asked what Baker has planned when his term expires, he said "You can ask both of us that in January 2023."

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