Gov. Bill Weld
Bill Weld is a former two-term Governor of Massachusetts, elected in 1990 with 50% of the vote and re-elected in 1994 with 71% of the vote. He was the first Republican to be elected Governor of Massachusetts in 20 years and began a run of four Republican governors in a row.
The Most Fiscally Conservative Governor in the Nation
Widely credited with bringing the state back from the brink of bankruptcy, Bill was ranked the most fiscally conservative governor in the country by both The Wall Street Journal and the Cato Institute. When he was elected in 1990, Massachusetts faced a $1.3 billion-dollar deficit. Unemployment was at 9.1% – 2.3 % above the national average – and the state had the 2nd highest state and local personal income taxes per capita in the nation.
Believing “there is no such thing as government money, only taxpayer money,” Bill cut taxes 21 times, balanced the budget without borrowing from Wall Street, reined in wasteful programs, privatized state services, and signed into law one of the strongest welfare reform laws in the country. His regulatory reforms made state government a partner, not an adversary, to job creators and entrepreneurs. The result: Massachusetts didn’t just emerge from a fiscal crisis; it thrived. Unemployment, health care costs, and welfare rolls decreased while the state’s bond rating and reserves increased.
Bill Weld achieved all this as a Republican governor in a blue state where Democrats out-numbered Republicans by more than 3 to 1 in the state legislature. Building alliances across party lines was a hallmark of his administration — a stark contrast to what is happening in Washington today. Bill restored the state’s financial health while fighting for tougher criminal justice laws, better education, and protection of natural resources & open space. He was one of the first governors in the U.S. to advocate equal rights for the LGBTQ community, demonstrating his unequivocal belief that all citizens be treated equally.
Proven Experience at the Highest Levels of Government
Prior to being elected governor, Bill served in President Ronald Reagan’s Justice Department, first as the United States Attorney for Massachusetts, where he won 109 convictions in 111 prosecutions of public corruption, and then as Assistant U.S. Attorney General in charge of the Criminal Division, working on many of the Reagan administration’s criminal justice initiatives, including the capture of Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega on drug trafficking charges. Earlier in his career, as a staff member on the U.S. House Judiciary Committee, Bill participated in the Watergate impeachment inquiry. He also worked for US Senator Jacob K. Javits (R-NY). He served as national co-chair of the U.S. Privatization Council & of U.S. Term Limits.
Real International Credentials
Bill is a self-described “inveterate internationalist,” believing that America is strongest when acting in concert with our economic and strategic partners. As governor, he led sixteen trade missions to Asia, Africa, Latin America, and Europe to promote Massachusetts as an international hub for business, technology, and education. He is an ardent supporter of free trade, having worked with Bill Clinton and Newt Gingrich in 1994 to help craft the North American Free Trade Agreement, and believes that international coalitions are vital to a safer and more prosperous America.
Bill is an active member of the Council on Foreign Relations and served for 5 years as a member of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Council. He has worked extensively throughout Asia, Africa, Latin America, and Europe, and serves as an associate member of the InterAction Council, an elected group of former heads of state from throughout the world focused on nuclear proliferation, sectarianism, natural resources, energy, food, and water.