Four of the Five Most Recent Massachusetts Governors Were Born in Other States
Massachusetts voters have elected several governors in recent decades who were born in other states. Four out of five of the most recent governors, including Governor-Elect Maura Healey, were born elsewhere.
Oxford Languages defines a carpetbagger as "a political candidate who seeks election in an area where they have no local connections."
The term carpetbagger might be a stretch when referring to some of these folks, but it is worth noting their points of origin.
Democrat Maura Tracy Healey, elected Governor of Massachusetts on November 8, 2022, was born on February 8, 1971, in Bethesda, Maryland. She grew up in Hampton Falls, New Hampshire. Healey was elected Attorney General of Massachusetts in 2014.
Healey is also the first woman and openly gay candidate to be elected Governor of Massachusetts.
Outgoing Republican Governor Charles Duane Baker, Jr. was born on November 13, 1956, in Elmira, New York, and grew up in Needham, Massachusetts. Baker, elected to the Swampscott Board of Selectmen in 2004, has served as Massachusetts Governor since 2015.
Deval Laurdine Patrick was born July 31, 1956, in Chicago, Illinois. Patrick attended the Milton Academy in Milton, Massachusetts, on a scholarship and served as Governor of Massachusetts from 2007-2015.
Patrick was the first African-American Governor of Massachusetts and the first Democrat to hold that office since Michael Dukakis left office in 1991.
Republican Willard Mitt Romney was born in Detroit, Michigan, on March 12, 1947. Romney served one term as Governor of Massachusetts from 2003-2007. Raised in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, Romney took a job with Bain & Company in Boston in 1977 and later co-founded Bain Capital.
Romney ran unsuccessfully for President against Barack Obama in 2012. In 2018, Romney was elected to the U.S. Senate from Utah.
Republican Jane Maria Swift was the last Massachusetts native to serve as Governor of the Commonwealth – but Swift was never elected to the position. Born February 24, 1965, in North Adams, Massachusetts, Swift was Lt. Governor to Republican Governor Paul Cellucci when he resigned to take an ambassadorship in 2001.
Swift served as Acting Massachusetts Governor from April 10, 2001-January 2, 2003, and did not seek election when her time as Acting Governor was through.
Worth noting, Swift was Acting Governor when American Airlines Flight 11 and United Airlines Flight 175 were hijacked from Boston's Logan International Airport on September 11, 2001.
The last Massachusetts native elected governor was Argeo Paul Cellucci, born in Hudson, Massachusetts on April 24, 1948.
Cellucci became governor in 1997 when William Weld resigned. Cellucci was elected governor in 1998 but resigned in 2001 to become U.S. Ambassador to Canada.
He died in 2013.