HYANNIS — Republican candidate for governor, Chris Doughty, and his running mate Kate Campanale, released their plan for the Cape Cod region during a press conference on Monday.
The “roadmap” looks at the Cape as a whole, as opposed to treating the region as separate towns and municipalities that will get things done at different points in time with different success rates, Campanale said at a small gathering at Veterans Memorial Park.
Doughty said he wants to increase job opportunities on Cape Cod by investing in a blue economy and technology, once proper broadband is installed across the Cape. A blue economy, in his plan, is the “emerging marine science and technology sector connected to the ocean” and the Cape’s coastal resources.
The Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce launched a Blue Economy initiative a few years ago with a vision similar to Doughty’s.
“To have the right jobs, we need workforce housing. That’s one of the big problems here on the Cape,” said Doughty, who is from Wrentham.
A long-term regional plan for workforce housing, one that reaches up and down the Cape, is needed, he said. “We have a strategic long-term vision for housing, not just town by town.”
The businessman has for more than three decades worked to build businesses that provide good jobs, while juggling being a hands-on father for his six children and serving in the community, according to campaign materials.
Doughty wants to gain the support of “exhausted middle” voters
Across the state, the Cape included, Doughy and Campanale said they hope to connect with a majority of Massachusetts residents on neither the “far left” nor “far right.”
“I’d say we speak to the 80% that are in the middle. We speak to what’s been called the ‘exhausted middle,’ the people that don’t want to fight, that want a uniter,” Doughty said.
He said he wants to use his experience as a business owner and jobsman to work for Massachusetts residents.
Campanale’s background is in education and government. She served in the state House of Representatives from 2015 to 2019.
“Kate and I, when we speak, everything we talk about is Massachusetts,” Doughty said. “That’s where our focus is, making the state the greatest state in America. And that’s our goal.”
Specifically, Doughty doesn’t want to focus on anything but the state of Massachusetts unlike, he said, his opponents, Republican challenger Geoff Diehl and Attorney General Maura Healey, who is a Democrat.
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Regionalization needed for affordable housing plan
Doughty and Campanale see regionalization as a key element of their affordable housing plans.
Doughty mentioned potentially creating a long-term workforce housing vision with the Cape Cod Commission, which he hopes would involve high-density zoning placement and applying tax credits to those zones.
For both housing and infrastructure projects, Doughty hopes to move “at the pace of business, not the pace of government.”
Replacing the two Cape bridges, as a banner at the Monday event indicated, will be an immediate focus if he and Campanale are elected, Doughty said. The bridges along with other infrastructure improvements such as rotaries, roads and traffic flow are at the top of the campaign’s priorities.
“The next governor will take a very active role in replacing the bridges. I’ve already met with the engineering firm that’s working on it,” Doughty said. “I come from big industry. As a man that comes from making auto parts and large factories, I’m very accustomed to large asset investments, things like bridges.”
Tax policy needs to attract new businesses
Doughty wants to attract new businesses to the state. Massachusetts has been a place of high expenses and high taxes that drives business away. He wants to use the money he thinks is wasted in the Statehouse to compete with other states in business and economic growth.
Focusing on spending first and then on taxes will benefit Massachusetts residents, he said.
Doughty’s Small Business Bill of Rights is his campaign’s way of supporting small businesses on the Cape and across the state. Doughty has first-hand understanding of how Massachusetts became the “least business friendly state in America,” he said.
Ensuring small businesses thrive and larger businesses don’t flee to other states is a high priority, Doughty said.
He and Campanale support Massachusetts net-zero carbon goals, and Gov. Charlie Baker’s signing of the executive order to protect those seeking and providing abortion in the state of Massachusetts. The campaign also supports improving public education to meet students of all needs. While Doughty supported Donald Trump in the 2020 presidential election, when asked about who he will support in 2024, Doughty said he hopes the U.S. sees “a new kind of next generation Republican leader that doesn’t come with all that trouble.”
Barnstable perspective expressed at Doughty event
Barnstable Town Councilor Eric Steinhilber, who attended the Monday event, intends to support Doughty and Campanale.
“I think there’s been a lot of great progress, especially on the Cape, with Charlie Baker and working with both Republicans and Democrats, and I think Chris really carries that message in a strong way,” Steinhilber said. “And I think we’re all better off having been able to work together and find compromise and get some good work done that way.”
Doughty does not want to focus on national politics, Steinhilber said.
Instead, Doughty thinks getting involved with the “noise” is not the role of a governor, he said.
“In the business world, we’re not worried about parties, we’re worried about results and execution and getting things accomplished,” Doughty said. “And so I bring to the Statehouse that kind of perspective — we’re going to measure you on your performance and the execution on what we have to do for our state, like I did in my business life. You know, it’s not all about party for me, it’s all about performance.”
When learning to run a large business, that person can’t just have ideas. “You have to have plans with measurables and things that you want to do,” he continued.
“This Cape Cod Plan reflects that kind of business background of the things we’d like to do.”