While predicting the GOP will make gains on their small numbers in the House and Senate, Republican Charles Baker said Thursday he's prepared to work with legislative leaders if elected governor in November. During an appearance on WGBH radio, Baker, who served under Republican Govs. William Weld and Paul Cellucci, said their administrations "got a lot done" even after Republicans in 1992 lost Senate members who had in the previous session served in sufficient numbers to sustain Weld's vetoes. He specifically mentioned laws adopted while working with Democrats in the areas of health care, education, county government and welfare reform. Baker said "many" Republican legislative candidates "have really good chances to win" in November and predicted his own election would show that voters want balance on Beacon Hill and "the constructive friction of both teams on the field." Sen. Stanley Rosenberg of Amherst was Ways and Means chairman when Baker served in state government. "I've always had a good working relationship with him," said Baker. The Swampscott Republican said he has known House Speaker Robert DeLeo for ten years and said they are both fans of charter schools. "I think I can work with him," Baker said. - M. Norton/SHNS


Reacting to the protests and violence that erupted in Ferguson, Missouri after the shooting of an unarmed black teenager, Gov.


Deval Patrick on Thursday said community policing, as much as diversity in law enforcement, can help ease tensions in situations such as Ferguson. Patrick said Massachusetts has more work to do to recruit local and state police from diverse backgrounds, and suggested the two recent State Police cadet classes have a strong balance of female recruits and candidates of color. But Patrick said he was also struck by a recent article he read in the New York Times about a similar shooting by police of an unarmed man in south Los Angeles that led to peaceful protests because of the relationships with leaders and residents that Los Angeles police had built in the community following the Rodney King riots. "The composition of law enforcement agencies is enormously important but the other part of it is how you get out and know the people you serve and have them know you," Patrick said. Patrick said the Los Angeles police patrolled the protests on bicycles rather than in riot gear and reached out to community leaders to keep the lines of dialogue open. Asked about the "militarization" of police departments, Patrick said following the Boston Marathon bombing he sees the value in having access to military grade equipment and vehicles, but believes police need to be trained and selective about when to use it. - M. Murphy/SHNS


Senate President Therese Murray on Thursday expressed confidence that Attorney General Martha Coakley will emerge as the victor in the Sept. 9 Democratic primary for governor. Asked about a number of progressive Democrats, including members of Senate's Democratic caucus, publicly backing Coakley's rivals, Murray said, "I look forward to meeting with them on Wednesday and backing Martha Coakley." A review of the campaign websites of Coakley, Treasurer Steve Grossman and former Obama health care official Don Berwick shows Senate members are split. Grossman lists state Sens. Stan Rosenberg of Amherst, Harriette Chandler of Worcester, Karen Spilka of Ashland, Thomas Kennedy of Brockton, Michael Rush of West Roxbury, Linda Dorcena Forry of Dorchester, Joan Lovely of Salem, Kathleen O'Connor Ives of Newburyport, Michael Moore of Milbury, Sal DiDomenico of Everett, and John Keenan of Quincy. Grossman's campaign said Thursday that other senators backing the treasurer include William Brownsberger of Belmont, Gale Candaras of Wilbraham, Jason Lewis of Winchester, Cynthia Creem of Newton, Jen Flanagan of Leominster, Michael Rodrigues of Westport, and James Welch of West Springfield. Berwick lists five endorsements from senators, including Dan Wolf of Harwich, Ken Donnelly of Arlington, Sonia Chang-Diaz of Jamaica Plain, Jamie Eldridge of Acton and Pat Jehlen of Somerville. Coakley's campaign site lists the support of Eileen Donoghue (D-Lowell). Sen. Anthony Petruccelli (D-East Boston) announced his support for Coakley on Wednesday on his Facebook page. Sen. Brian Joyce (D-Milton) is also backing Coakley, her campaign said. Murray, who isn't running for reelection and endorsed Coakley earlier this year, was an early backer of the attorney general, and supported her in Coakley's 2010 race for U.S. Senate. Murray, who presided over Thursday's brief informal Senate session, said her agenda for the rest of the year includes what will likely be the final supplemental budget for fiscal 2014. "That'll be done probably in late September," Murray said. - G. Dumcius/SHNS


Former Probation Commissioner John O'Brien, who was convicted in July on public corruption charges, got a fair trial, according to Republican candidate for governor Charlie Baker. Arguing that Judge William Young erred in his instructions to the jury and that the premise of the convictions was unsound, O'Brien's lawyers this week asked Young to acquit their client. On July 24, jurors convicted O'Brien and two former deputies, Elizabeth Tavares and William Burke III, of crimes associated with rigging the hiring system within the probation department to favor politically connected applicants. Attorney Stellio Sinnis argued in a new motion filed Tuesday that Young had improperly laid out the government's case "in logical progression" for the jury and "erroneously" told jurors that passing recommended names to interview panels was "questionable" and "highly questionable" in the case of a superior passing names to a subordinate. "I think he had a fair trial. I have no problem at all with the verdict," Baker said Thursday during an appearance on WGBH radio. Baker also noted that none of his Democratic rivals have endorsed his proposal for the state to publish the identity, resume and any recommendations of people who receive state jobs. Baker said his proposal would shed light on whether people who receive jobs have the skills to do the jobs. "This is a pretty simple thing to do and they could have embraced it," he said. - M. Norton/SHNS


Gov. Deval Patrick took the rare step, for him, to endorse in the Democratic primary for attorney general on Thursday, but said he will not try to tip the scales in his party's race for the nomination for governor. Patrick, appearing on Boston Public Radio, said he "might" reveal who he votes for in the race for governor after next Tuesday's primary, but does not plan to endorse before then. Attorney General Martha Coakley, Treasurer Steve Grossman, and pediatrician Don Berwick are all competing for the Democratic nomination for governor, and Coakley has held large polling leads leading up to the vote. Patrick said he has not caught any of the debates in the race on television so far, suggesting he has been preoccupied with four generations living under his Milton roof. The governor said his wife Diane's ailing, 91-year-old father has been living with the family, as has his oldest daughter Sarah, and the governor's grandson Gianluca Noah Patrick Morgese, moved in over the summer to help care for Diane's father. "We have four generations living in our house, which is a terrific thing, but it's a little chaotic so when I am able to be home at night I need to do my share to help out," Patrick said. - M. Murphy/SHNS


Saying he believed he was the only candidate for governor to walk the site where a resort casino has been approved in Springfield, Republican candidate for governor defended his plan to enable the casino to go forward even if voters in November repeal the casino law. Baker has long backed the idea of Massachusetts hosting a single casino and told WGBH radio on Thursday he wasn't aware of any other investors willing to commit $800 million to the area. Asked about the dilemma of backing a casino if voters repeal the casino law, Baker pointed to Springfield's own vote under the current law to support hosting a casino. - M. Norton/SHNS


Republican candidate for governor Charlie Baker doesn't have a preferred candidate among the three Democrats on the primary ballot next Tuesday - Martha Coakley, Don Berwick and Steven Grossman. "I know them all. I like them all," Baker told WGBH's Boston Public Radio before going on to allege that the Democrats want "much bigger government" and "a lot more taxes." Baker said he believes voters are more interested in government reforms and ways to save money. He said he expects to beat his primary opponent, Mark Fisher. - M. Norton/SHNS