Maura Healey to make decision on run for governor ‘by the fall’ as Charlie Baker fundraising heats up

Maura Healey said she’ll make a decision “by the fall” on whether to pursue a run for governor, hinting at a ballot-box showdown with Gov. Charlie Baker — who has booked a hot fundraiser down the Cape next month.

The invite list for Baker’s Aug. 20 soiree at public relations executive George Regan’s Mashpee estate for Baker and Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito reads like a who’s who list of Massachusetts politics.

That list, obtained by the Herald, includes names like former Attorney General Francis Bellotti, Mintz chairman attorney Bob Popeo, former Boston Police Commissioner William Gross and car entrepreneur Herb Chambers, among others, who are co-hosting the affair. Former top cop Bill Bratton, developer Jay Cashman, Legal Seafood’s Roger Berkowitz and scores more — many Democrats — are also on the list.

“The governor is not going down to Cape Cod in August to get ice cream,” said an inside source. “He wouldn’t be going if he wasn’t running.”

Those attending are asked to kick in $500 to $1,000 for the governor or Polito, or both.

Baker last week promised a decision on his re-election “soon.” The moderate Republican had backed off fundraising efforts amid the pandemic, fueling speculation he might bow out the 2022 race. But his June fundraising numbers snapped back as his campaign advisers confirmed he had resumed hosting events, tallying $90,854 — nearly as much as he had raised in the five prior months combined.

Baker had about $524,500 in his campaign account by the end of June, according to state campaign finance data. He had 10 times as much in his coffers on the same month in the runup to his 2018 re-election. Polito, by contrast, had more than $2.2 million banked in June.

Healey, too, kept the rumor mill churning about her gubernatorial aspirations during an appearance on GBH’s “Boston Public Radio” on Thursday.

“I’m thinking about that right now. I’m going to take the summer to think about that. My term is up in 2022 and I need to make some decisions,” Healey said when asked about her re-election plans.

Healey is widely considered a top contender for the Democratic nomination should she launch a bid.

“I’m taking time to think about it and to talk to people. I’ll know more by the fall,” Healey said.

The two-term attorney general has been a leader in fundraising among potential gubernatorial candidates throughout much of the past year and has been making the rounds at appearances around the state. Healey’s campaign account is the highest among potential and declared 2022 contenders with $3.12 million in cash on hand.

Three Democrats have announced bids for 2022: state Sen. Sonia Chang-Diaz of Boston, former state Sen. Ben Downing of Pittsfield and Harvard professor and political adviser Danielle Allen. Quincy resident Scott Khourie and Orlando Silva of Shrewsbury have also filed candidacy paperwork.

So far former state Rep. Geoff Diehl of Whitman is the sole declared Republican candidate.

Just one other Republican, Darius Mitchell of Lowell, has filed candidacy paperwork with the state and previously told the Herald he was “considering a run.”

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