Malone Underdog In State Race

Harvard for Governor '97 part two in a two part series

BOSTON--Ever since he became State Treasurer, Joseph D. Malone '78 says his mother has been a little worried.

"I remember my mother calling me and saying, 'Joe, of my seven children, you were the one who always got along with people. Now, I pick up the newspaper everyday and I read about a new battle that you're engaging in,'" Malone says.

The 42 year-old Republican, now beginning a run for the governor's office, was elected in 1990, becoming the first in his party to hold the treasurer's office in 41 years.

Malone stormed into the State House determined to clear the arteries of a slow and costly state government--even if it meant making a few enemies.

After six years of managing the state's finances, Malone has done both.


Axing state employees left and right, Malone has straightened out the lottery, vastly expanded pension plans for state workers and regained respectability for the state's once-dismal bond rating.

But Malone has made enemies as well.

With his crusade to eliminate what he calls state government "the old-fashioned way," Malone rocked a boat that many Bay State pols--Republican and Democrat alike--were quite happy to be sitting in.

According to State Senator Mike Knapik (R-Westfield) Malone may face political consequences for his war against the status-quo.

"I think that is something the treasurer is going to have to deal with," Knapik says. "Those types of things cause bruises."

While burnt bridges may be his most significant obstacle, Malone faces a number of challenges as he prepares to challenge Lt. Gov. A. Paul Cellucci in the 1998 Republican gubernatorial primary.

Cellucci benefits from both his job's status and his campaign's funding.

When current Gov. William F. Weld '66 becomes the U.S. Ambassador to Mexico later this summer, Cellucci, who has been building up a war chest of campaign donations for six years, will take his place.

Much like fellow Harvard football player and underdog gubernatorial candidate, Democratic Attorney General L. Scott Harshbarger '64, Malone's solution is quite simple.

"My approach is to go out there and much like a job interview, let the people of Massachusetts know what I've been doing as treasurer," Malone says.