Cape and Islands State Sen. Dan Wolf said Monday he is ending his campaign for governor.
Mr. Wolf announced his gubernatorial run in July, but shortly afterward a state ethics commission ruling said that his partial ownership of Cape Air represented a conflict of interest because the company has contracts with Logan Airport, which is run by a state agency.
The state ethics commission ruled that Mr. Wolf either had to divest of his Cape Air ownership, end Cape Air’s contracts with Logan Airport or give up his senate seat and end his campaign. Mr. Wolf argued that the Cape Air contracts were non-negotiable and not competitive, and the ethics regulations as written unfairly impact some people who own businesses. In September the state ethics commission offered Mr. Wolf a reprieve, and said he could keep his seat while the commission worked on new regulations that would allow Mr. Wolf and others in similar situations to hold public office.
The fate of his gubernatorial run was unclear; the campaign was suspended when the ethics commission released its original finding.
“In the weeks and months since August, we continued to hope that the Commission would resolve this matter in a timely fashion, allowing me to move forward with my campaign, creating a regulation that would also encourage others to serve the public while protecting the public’s trust,” Mr. Wolf said in a statement released late Monday.
“However, after the Commission’s meeting last Thursday, October 17, it is now clear that no resolution, regardless of its form, will be reached for at least several more months, quite possibly longer,” Mr. Wolf continued. “Given that timing, I feel I have no option but to end my campaign for Governor.”
Mr. Wolf, a Democrat from Harwich, was first elected to the senate in 2010. He ran unopposed in 2012. In the State House, he serves as chairman of the joint committee on labor and workforce development and vice chairman of the joint committee on state administration and regulatory oversight.
He founded Cape Air in 1988, and the airline now flies to airports in 10 states and the Caribbean.
When he announced his candidacy for governor, Mr. Wolf said he wanted to focus on building the economy from the middle out. Among his goals were economic and social justice, affordable health care for all, reversing the growing economic disparity, excellent public education and “for once and for all [ending] the false division between a healthy environment and a healthy economy.” The complete text of Mr. Wolf’s statement follows. •
With great excitement and high hopes, after careful discussions with family, friends, and colleagues, in July I threw my hat into the ring to become the next Governor of Massachusetts.
My reasons have not changed. If anything, my passion and concern has strengthened as my understanding of the challenges and opportunities has deepened:
We must rebuild our economy from the middle out, reverse decades of increasing hardship to hardworking friends and neighbors, and use government as one of the tools to help accomplish those goals. Even the so-called “recovery” we are experiencing proves the point: 95 percent of the wealth that has returned to our economy in recent years has gone into the hands of just 1 per cent of our population.
But after an exhilarating start, since August my campaign has been suspended. The State Ethics Commission has ruled that because the company I founded 25 years ago, Cape Air, has non-negotiable operating agreements and leases to use Logan Airport, I am in conflict.
In the weeks and months since August, we continued to hope that the Commission would resolve this matter in a timely fashion, allowing me to move forward with my campaign, creating a regulation that would also encourage others to serve the public while protecting the public’s trust.
However, after the Commission’s meeting last Thursday, Oct. 17, it is now clear that no resolution, regardless of its form, will be reached for at least several more months, quite possibly longer.
Given that timing, I feel I have no option but to end my campaign for Governor.
I do so with deep regret, but also with every hope that I will remain as State Senator from the Cape and Islands, continuing to advocate for our environment, social justice, public education, jobs that provide living wages, and economic opportunity.
I do so remaining idealistic and optimistic, but also recognizing the practical and pragmatic: With continued uncertainty, re-starting a gubernatorial campaign months from now is not feasible.
I do so with gratitude for the blessing and privilege of serving the citizens of the Commonwealth.
I do so with concerns, given the process thus far, that well-intentioned regulation can have the unintended consequence of keeping — or forcing — people with great life experience out of public service.
To those who have helped and supported me so much, my deepest thanks. We all know that there are many ways to make a contribution, many ways to help, many ways to fight. We also know that sometimes one door closes so another can open.
I promise to continue to contribute, help, and fight. And I look forward to walking through the next door together.