Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney has been widely recognized for his leadership and accomplishments as a public servant and in private enterprise.
Elected in 2002, Governor Romney presided over a dramatic reversal of state fortunes and a period of sustained economic expansion. Without raising taxes or increasing debt, Governor Romney balanced the budget every year of his administration, closing a $3 billion budget gap inherited when he took office. By eliminating waste, streamlining the government, and enacting comprehensive economic reforms to stimulate growth in Massachusetts, Romney got the economy moving again and transformed deficits into surpluses.
At the beginning of Governor Romney's term, Massachusetts was losing thousands of jobs every month. By the time he left office, the unemployment rate was lower, hundreds of companies had expanded or moved to Massachusetts, and in the last two years of his term, the state had added approximately 60,000 jobs.
One of Governor Romney's top priorities was reforming the education system so that young people could compete for better paying jobs in the global economy of the future. In 2004, Governor Romney established the John and Abigail Adams Scholarship Program to reward the top 25 percent of Massachusetts high school students with a four-year, tuition-free scholarship to any Massachusetts public university or college. He has also championed a package of education reforms, including merit pay, an emphasis on math and science instruction, important new intervention programs for failing schools and English immersion for foreign-speaking students.
In 2006, Governor Romney proposed and signed into law a private, market-based reform that ensures every Massachusetts citizen will have health insurance, without a government takeover and without raising taxes.
Governor Romney was elected to the Chairmanship of the Republican Governors Association by his fellow Governors for the 2006 election cycle, and raised a record $27 million for candidates running in State House contests around the country.
Romney first gained national recognition for his role in turning around the 2002 Winter Olympics. With the 2002 Games mired in controversy and facing a financial crisis, Romney left behind a successful career as an entrepreneur to take over as President and CEO of the Salt Lake Organizing Committee.
Governor Romney has said he felt compelled to assume the seemingly impossible task of rescuing the Games by both the urgings of his wife, Ann, and by the memory of his father, George Romney, who had been a successful businessman, three-term Governor of Michigan, and a tireless advocate of volunteerism in America.