Gonzalez, Massie vying for Dem nomination as Lively poses primary challenge to Gov. Baker

BOSTON (WHDH) - A pair of Democratic candidates are battling it out for their party nomination and right to challenge incumbent Republican Gov. Charlie Baker as Tuesday’s primary election approaches.

Needham Democrat Jay Gonzalez, who once served as Secretary of Administration and Finance under former Gov. Deval Patrick, feels he knows exactly what voters want.

“The one I hear the most about by far is our transportation system,” he said. “I mean people are at the end of their ropes with it.”

In an interview with 7’s Sharman Sacchetti, Gonzales said he has a plan to fix the state’s transit system and called out Baker for not doing more.

“Governor Baker says we don’t need more money. That’s not true,” he said. “We need to invest more in the system to get it to a place where people can depend on it.”

Democrat Bob Massie, of Somerville, is also on this year’s ticket. He’s a social justice activist who claims that he hears every day what matters most to people.

“I would encourage anyone watching to say, ‘has my life gotten better?’ I mean we’re supposedly in a booming economy,” he said. “Is it easier for my kids to go to school?”

Massie says climate change and income inequality are deep problems in the state.

“I’ve been all over the state and people are having trouble affording their rent or being able to buy a home or being able to go to college,” he said.

On the Republican side, Baker says he’s working hard to convince voters he deserves another four years in office.

“The state’s heading in the right direction. We have more people working than at any other time in state history,” he said. “Our education system is actually rocking it.”

The Swampscott native says more needs to be done on housing, transportation, and the opioid crisis. He also feels people like his approach.

“A lot of people, when I’m out and about, tell me the thing they appreciate most about this administration is we really do focus on the work and not the noise,” he said.

Conservative pastor and attorney Scott Lively is challenging Baker on the Republican side.

He says he’s pro-life, pro-gun and pro-Trump.

“I don’t like the direction the state is going. I think Charlie Baker is doing a terrible job,” he said. “I think I can do much better by bringing in authentic conservative principles.”

The Springfield native has been criticized for his anti-gay rhetoric. Lively is listed as an extremist by the Southern Poverty Law Center, something he calls biased.

Lively says he wants to stop waste and fraud.

“We have had serious corruption for decades in Massachusetts,” he said. “It’s only gotten worse. Moral, fiscal, political corruption. Every flavor. I bring ethics.”

The primary winners will face each other in the general election in November.

For a preview of all the races in Massachusetts, click here.

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