Taking a sharp stance away from the national Republican Party line, 17-year Selectman Gary Lee yesterday said he was joining the hotly contested governor’s race in Massachusetts. Current Gov. Mitt Romney is widely thought to have presidential aspirations and has said he will not run to regain his governor’s mansion in 2006
Romney has thrown his support behind Lieutenant Governor Kerry Healey.
Lee, a Massachusetts native who represents Norwood, says there should be a real choice for people, not a pre-ordained Republican successor In a released statement, Lee said.
“I believe only the people of Massachusetts have the right to decide who their next Governor shall be. I believe in a democracy no man or woman has a right to hand pick his or her successor or use elective office to serve his or her political ambition.”
Lee said he was drawn away from the Democratic Party by Ronald Reagan, but that today’s Republican Party doesn’t measure up to Reagan’s vision. That includes the Patriot Act, which is too much of an encroachment on privacy and civil liberties, Lee says:
The day is fast approaching when at 3 a.m. under the guise of Homeland Security and the newly expanded Patriot Act some unknown and unannounced Government official can show up at your home without so much as a warrant or a court order and take your spouse, your son or your daughter off for questioning and you having no rights in the matter. Our Veterans and civil libertarians are trying to stress the need to stay vigilant in these matters. We must never let our guard down, or be intimidated by a Federal Bureaucracy that is out of control and taking away those freedoms and those liberties upon which America was founded.
At the same time Lee would like religion to take a more central role in government:
God did not come to judge or condemn nations, however he did come to challenge nations to put their trust in him. Here in Massachusetts and across this Country we have lost sight of that. We need to put God back into our State, back into our Country and back into our schools and the public domain if we in Massachusetts want to lead this nation forward.
We have become a nation divided, over what, Stem Cell Research, Abortion, Gay Rights, Parish Closings and Church Scandals? We have parent pitted against child, sibling against sibling, and friend against friend. Aren’t we all one, and don’t we all have the right to speak our minds and our convictions?
Unlike Reagan, however, Lee indicates a realization that the federal government does and continues to play a role in the state:
(W)e are concerned we are not getting the assistance we deserve from the State and Federal Government to help us rebuild our deteriorating Schools, Libraries, Senior Centers, Housing Complexes, Police, Fire and Public Works Departments; we are concerned our cities and towns can’t balance their budgets and concerned the State keeps taking our local aid so that our Police, Teachers, Fire and other essential personnel and their families live in fear of layoffs and loosing their homes. …