Cape Air CEO Dan Wolf, the former Democratic senator from Harwich who opted against seeking a fourth term in November, wants to re-engage in state Democratic politics ahead of the 2018 election and has not ruled out entering the race for governor.
“I’m really trying to be part of the conversation about how the Democratic Party coalesces around its values with a set of policies we can enact in Massachusetts, because it’s not going to happen at the federal level,” Wolf told the News Service.
Wolf will speak to Democrats at a meeting of the Cambridge Democratic City Committee on Thursday night alongside Newton Mayor Setti Warren, who is exploring a run for governor, and Cyndi Roy Gonzalez, the wife of former state budget chief and 2018 gubernatorial candidate Jay Gonzalez.
The aviation executive’s participation in the event and his plans to speak and listen at more events in the future as he looks ahead to 2018 was first reported Tuesday evening by Politico Massachusetts. Though Wolf insisted that his return to the political scene was not necessarily an exploration of a run for governor, he said, “I certainly haven’t ruled anything out, but I’m not actively working on a governor’s race right now.”
“My concern is that everybody is so focused right now on the national that a lot of important issues that we can continue to make progress with in Massachusetts, we’ve lost focus on those issues and it’s more important than ever that Massachusetts be a leader and show the rest of country that we can make progress,” Wolf said.
Economic justice and income inequality topped Wolf’s list of priorities to discuss, though he said he was also interested in making health care more accessible and understandable, transportation, education, criminal justice reform, and a host of environmental issues.
Wolf briefly ran for governor during the last cycle, but was forced to abandon his campaign when he ran into an ethical conflict between his political career and ownership of Cape Air. The Ethics Commission has since clarified the rules that would allow him to run.
If he doesn’t run, Wolf said Gonzalez and Warren are both “strong and credible candidates.” “I think we’ve got really good candidates stepping up so far,” he told the News Service.