Andover, Massachusetts , United States
|| April 11, 1940
|Contributor||Not in Public Domain|
Jul 31, 2015 01:44am
|Info||(From her announcement for Governor) |
Former state Sen. Patricia McGovern vowed to bring a woman's perspective to the governor's race and to focus on improving education and health care as she announced her candidacy yesterday.
"Frankly, it is time that Massachusetts finally breaks through the glass ceiling," McGovern, 56, of Andover, said in a news conference at a downtown hotel attended by about 500 supporters, most of them women.
McGovern, who served six terms in the Senate from 1981 to 1993 and eight years in the influential post of Ways and Means chairman, will be competing with Attorney General Scott Harshbarger for the Democratic nomination.
Former Boston Mayor Raymond L. Flynn also is expected to announce his candidacy.
If elected, McGovern would be the first woman governor in Massachusetts. There are no women holding statewide office either in Congress or at the Statehouse.
McGovern called for pre-kindergarten and compulsory full-day kindergarten as a way of giving children a good start in life. And she promised to make sure the state has the "finest public state college system in the United States of America."
She also promised to fight to make health care more available and affordable. "We've got to make sure people are treated with the respect they deserve," she said.
A leader in the Legislature during a period in which the state's finances turned sour and a major tax increase was enacted, McGovern portrayed herself as someone who had warned of fiscal problems and taken the lead in fighting them.
"I was the voice of reason during the latter part of the 1980s," she said. "I spoke out first. I spoke out earliest. I spoke out loudest."
She said she supported the current proposal to roll back the income tax from 5.95 percent to 5 percent. McGovern supported the tax increase that brought rates to that level, but she said it was temporary.
She declined to promise that she would never raise taxes, saying the "no new taxes" pledge taken by former GOP Gov. William F. Weld and acting Gov. Paul Cellucci were "a fraud."
"Respectable and honest people and decent people don't take these pledges," she said.
Cellucci, who boasts of 20 tax cuts during the Weld-Cellucci years, said he was "not interested in starting the 1998 campaign for governor. I am trying to focus on doing my job and getting things done for the people of this state."
But he said that when he and Weld arrived in 1991, "This state was a fiscal basket case, thanks to Pat McGovern and the Democrats."
As for McGovern's leaving the door open to taxes, Cellucci said, "That's a real difference, in general, between Democrats and Republicans. We tried their way back in the late 1980s. Look where it got us."
Since leaving office, McGovern has worked as a partner at the Boston law firm, Goulston & Storrs. She also has offered opinions as a panelist on WCVB-TV's "Five on Five" and chaired the commission that put together the merger between Boston City Hospital and University Hospital.