NORTH ATTLEBORO - Could Republican gubernatorial candidate Charlie Baker be eyeing state Rep. Betty Poirier as a possible running mate?
That was the rumor running through some Republican circles Friday.
Angela Davis, a Republican State Committee member from Foxboro, admitted she had heard the rumor.
She said it makes sense because Poirier, R-North Attleboro, would bring balance to the GOP ticket.
Baker is a man, Poirier is a woman. Baker is from the northern end of the state, Poirier is from the south. Baker is a moderate on social issues, Poirier is a conservative. Baker is an executive, Poirier is a legislator.
"It would be a brilliantly balanced ticket," Davis said.
Baker needs to improve his standing with women voters for the election. He lost the female vote by a wide margin when he ran unsuccessfully for governor in 2010.
But, the pairing of Baker and Poirier would also highlight their differences on issues such as abortion and gay rights.
A spokesman for the Baker campaign said Baker has just gotten into the race and has not yet started to look for a running mate.
"That decision is a long way off," spokesman Tim Buckley said.
"Charlie's focus is on letting people know about his vision for making Massachusetts great by helping grow our economy, delivering the best education to every child and partnering state and local government to foster safe and strong communities."
Poirier, who will turn 71 next month, said no one has talked to her about running for lieutenant governor.
"That's news to me," she chuckled, adding that if the rumor was true, she would have heard it first.
But, one of her colleagues, state Rep. Jay Barrows, R-Mansfield, said Poirier would be an excellent choice.
"I think that would be awesome," he said, adding that Poirier could enliven the campaign.
He said Poirier is a "tried and true conservative" who is respected by both parties at the Statehouse.
State Committee member Horace Mello also said Poirier would make a good candidate.
"She has a great track record of protecting the tax payer and is well versed on the issues facing the state," he said.