Governor Baker's appointment creates Taunton mayoral race scramble
TAUNTON, Mass. (WLNE) -- Governor Baker announced Monday that he's appointing Taunton Mayor Thomas Hoye to be the Bristol County Register of Probate.
But anyone hoping to succeed Hoye as Mayor of Taunton had just one day to gather the necessary signatures and file paperwork by 5 pm Tuesday.
"It is what it is," Hoye said. "Unfortunately I didn't get to pick the timing of it. And I serve at the pleasure of the governor, at this point."
Members of Hoye's own party, the Massachusetts Democrats, are taking issue with the governor's timing.
Party chair Gus Bickford says Governor Baker is playing political games.
"He knew that his hand–picked candidate needed help," Bickford said. "And the one way to do that is to see if he could create a situation where she would not face any opposition."
Bickford is referring to republican state representative Shaunna O'Connell, who was the first to complete her paperwork to run for mayor.
The Democratic party chair says the voters of Taunton should hold the governor accountable.
"Taunton voters deserve a choice," he said, "and it's unfortunate that the governor wanted to take that away from them."
Three other candidates did manage to complete mayoral paperwork just before the deadline: Peter Bzdula, Matt Baptiste, and Estelle Borges, a Democratic city councilor.
Hoye tells ABC6 his last day in office will be in October.
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