House Minority Leader Brad Jones, R-North Reading, who has headed up the Republican House contingent throughout Patrick’s term, noted that the milestone fell on a day when gas, tobacco and computer services taxes are about to rise.
“To celebrate that day we are inflicting $500 million in tax increases on the citizens of the Commonwealth,” Jones said. “I think that pretty much sums up the seven years.”
Jones said Patrick’s early cultivation of a relationship with the minority party soon “died on the vine” and said Patrick’s recent battle with Democratic leaders for a larger tax increase, which culminated in Patrick vetoing a revenue package he found wanting only to have Democrats in the Legislature overrule him, have “accelerated his lame duck status.”
Patrick was a Democratic activist, corporate attorney and former official in President Bill Clinton’s Justice Department when he hit the campaign trail in 2005, running against Attorney General Tom Reilly and businessman Chris Gabrieli in the primary.
After a campaign featuring far fewer promises than his first one, Patrick won re-election in 2010, defeating Republican Charlie Baker, and pledged to fill out the rest of his term and then enter the private sector.
Because Weld was sworn in Jan. 3, 1993 and left office June 29, 1998, and Patrick was sworn in Jan. 4, 2007, Wednesday, July 31, is the day that Patrick surpasses Weld in longevity behind the wheel of the state. Dukakis, who spent three terms, two of which were consecutive, as governor, is the longest-serving governor of the state. Next year, Patrick will be the fourth longest serving governor of Massachusetts in the history of the nation, following behind Levi Lincoln Jr., who helmed for nine years from 1825 to 1834, and then won election to Congress, the state Senate and finally the Worcester mayoralty in 1845.
Three governors served for seven or more years since the United States gained independence. They are Caleb Strong, who served a total of 11 years in the early 19th century, John Brooks, who fought at Concord and Bunker Hill in the revolution and served as governor for seven years, and George Briggs, who was governor for seven years about a decade before the Civil War.
Edward King - 1,463 days (Jan. 4, 1979 - Jan. 6, 1983) Michael Dukakis - 4,391 days (three terms: Jan. 2, 1975-Jan. 4, 1979, Jan. 6, 1983 - Jan. 3, 1991 William Weld - 2,400 days (Jan. 3, 1991 - July 29, 1997) Argeo Paul Cellucci - 1,350 days (July 29, 1997 - April 10, 2001) Jane Swift 632 days - (Acting Governor, April 10, 2001 - Jan. 2, 2003) Mitt Romney - 1,463 days (Jan. 2, 2003 - Jan. 4, 2007) Deval Patrick - 2,4001 days (Jan. 4, 2007 - present)