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slides: Election Preview 2014: Who’s Running for What

Friday, May 17, 2013


Rhode Island 2014. Who will be on the ballot - and who can win?

The 2014 election cycle is starting to heat up in Rhode Island, as some candidates have already declared their intentions to run for statewide office seats -- while speculation still swirls around others.

Today, GoLocal takes a look at the latest developments, talks with local political experts -- and parses some of the potential contenders in a slide show below.

Almonte Changes Mind

Former state Auditor General Ernie Almonte, who announced Thursday he was looking to run for General Treasure in 2014, after previously indicating that he was looking at the Governor's office, had the following to say regarding his move to GoLocal on Thursday.

"There's a saying, 'You can't learn how to swim on the beach.' I've been out there this past year all across the state, talking with people, hearing what people are saying, and I'm listening -- I'm a good listener, I've been married 30 years -- and I make all my decisions basked on logic."

"I feel of course I'd be a strong gubernatorial candidate as well, I can work with a wide range of people," said Almonte.   "So many people told me though, "Ernie, with your financial background, education, ethics -- all of your skill sets point to the Treasurer's office."

Wendy Schiller, Associate Professor of Political Science and Public Policy at Brown University: "Things are Still Premature Right Now"

"I think we'll know more by the fall where things stand, this is still a bit premature to speculate on anything right now," said Schiller.  "We're in a holding pattern more than anything."

"I think something to watch, and to count even, are the number of statewide appearances potential candidates start to make. That's a sure indication that they're teeing something up. I know that it's been noted that [City of Providence Mayor Angel] Taveras has been particularly "active" as of late."

"As far as [General Treasurer Gina] Raimondo, I'm surprised we haven't heard -- or seen -- more of that type of activity to date. I think her camp should be concerned because she's giving the impression the General Treasurer seat is open, without yet formerly declaring she's running for Governor."

"Regarding Almonte's move to run for State Treasurer, I'm not surprised. I think it's a smart move on his part -- he looked at the possible gubernatorial field and decided his chances were better in the Treasurer's race. I know Caprio's announced, but I'm not positive he'll actually end up running. We shall see."

Maureen Moakley, Professor of Political Science, URI: "2014 Should be a Fun Election Cycle"

"With term limits now, we have political musical chairs, so to speak," Moakely told GoLocal.  "With a small [federal] delegation, those with aspirations for a high public office often look to the top statewide seats as being more feasible."

"Right now, candidates are sizing up the fields. Look, while all contenders are in it to win it, there are those that realize they're a longshot, and are just looking to get in the mix.  A lot is going to depend on who declares for Governor, that will really determine then who goes for the other seats."

"I think Chafee still goes as an Independent, there's no advantage to his siding with the Dems right now, as speculation might indicate. I wouldn't be surprised however to see 20 minutes after the election, whether he wins or loses, that he officially goes "D", as that's where his politics really lean. And if he loses -- look out for an ambassadorship."

"2014 should be a fun election cycle. Lots of interesting dynamics at play."

Victor Profughi, Adjunct Professor and Former Director of the Bureau of Government Research and Services at Rhode Island College: "The Republicans Don't Exactly Have a Bumper Crop"

"Scott (Avedisian) always played it very wisely over the years. He's had other opportunities to consider statewide office, and he hasn't gone there," said Profughi. "He's got a good thing going in Warwick, a good track record there. Actually, I'd be surprised to see him go for higher office, quite frankly."

"The problem with mayors is that your record tends to catch up with you, so to speak. Take Fung for example, who's been playing his cards close to his vest. He's been a pretty effective mayor, but he's also taken a lot of heat from Democrats. He's a viable gubernatorial candidate though. Let's face it, the state Republicans don't exactly have a bumper crop."

"Don't be surprised to see the Secretary of State Democratic primary go deeper. City Councilor Hassett, [Senator] Jamie Doyle...Juan Pichardo could be real contender if he chooses to run."

"Block's indicated he'd be inclined for another run for Governor, but only if he has a serious chance of winning. Without him or another serious "fourth" party candidate, Chafee's chances of reelection drop steeply in a three-way race. The pie's not cut up the same, and I see him having a hard time constructing a coalition to win this time around if that ends up being the case."

See Slide Show of Current Contenders

Prev Next

Ken Block

Target Office: Rhode Island Governor

Existing Office: None -- Chairman of the Moderate Party of Rhode Island

Party: Moderate Party

Age: 48

Education: Dartmouth College; Bachelor of Arts in Computer Science.

Bio: The owner of a successful software consulting business, Simpatico Software Systems, Inc., Ken Block is the founder and chairman of the Moderate Party of Rhode Island. Block has condemned the two-party system in Rhode Island and believes his party serves the needs of the average Rhode Islander. He is the driver behind the repeal of the Master Lever.

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Lincoln Chafee

Target Office: Rhode Island Governor

Existing Office: Governor of Rhode Island

Party: Independent

Age: 60

Education: Brown University; Bachelor of Arts in Classics

Bio: A former US Senator and Mayor of Warwick, Chafee has been a major force behind the adoption of same-sex marriage. The former Republican now Independent is seeking re-election in 2014 for a second term.

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Allan Fung

Target Office: Rhode Island Governor

Existing Office: Mayor of Cranston

Party: Republican

Age: 43

Education: Rhode Island College. Suffolk University Law School.

Bio: Rhode Island’s first Asian-American Mayor is seen by many as the future of the Republican Party in Rhode Island. In 2011, under Fung’s leadership, Cranston was named #1 community in Rhode Island by GoLocalProv.com.

Prev Next

Gina Marie Raimondo

Target Office: Rhode Island Governor

Existing Office: General Treasurer of Rhode Island

Party: Democrat

Age: 42

Education: Harvard University; Bachelor of Arts in Economics. Rhodes Scholar. Oxford University; Masters Degree in Sociology. Yale University; Juris Doctor.

Bio: A native of Smithfield, Raimondo was elected in 2010 to the office of General Treasurer. During her time as Treasurer, she led the effort to reform the state’s pension system. Prior to being elected as General treasurer, she founded Rhode Island’s first venture capital firm, Point Judith Capital.

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Angel Taveras

Target Office: Rhode Island Governor

Existing Office: Mayor of Providence

Party: Democrat

Age: 43

Education: Harvard University. Georgetown University Law School; Juris Doctor Degree.

Bio: Elected in 2010 as Mayor of Providence, Taveras was faced with a mammoth deficit. He has worked to improve the city’s fiscal situation.

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Scott Avedisian

Target Offices: Lieutenant Governor, General Treasurer

Existing Office: Mayor of Warwick

Party: Republican

Age: 48

Education: Providence College. Roger Williams University; Master’s Degree in Public Administration. Harvard School of Government.

Bio: First elected in February 2000, Avedisian recently became the longest serving mayor in Warwick’s history. Notably, Avedisian has helped Warwick to achieve a budget surplus while other municipalities teeter on the edge bankruptcy.

Prev Next

Dan McKee

Target Office: Lieutenant Governor

Existing Office: Mayor of Cumberland

Party: Democrat

Age: 61

Education: Assumption College. Harvard University School of Government.

Bio: McKee was recently sworn in to office for his sixth term as the Mayor of Cumberland. He has been recognized for his success in education reform.

Prev Next

A. Ralph Mollis

Target Office: Lieutenant Governor

Existing Office: Secretary of State

Party: Democrat

Age: 51

Education: St. Anslem College; Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science.

Bio: The former Mayor of North Providence and current Secretary of State is a possibility to run for Lieutenant Governor in 2014 as well as for General Treasurer.

Prev Next

Ed Pacheco

Target Office: Secretary of State

Existing Office: None - Executive Director of Education in Action

Party: Democrat

Age: 31

Education: University of Rhode Island; Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science.

Bio: Before serving as the Chairman of Rhode Island’s Democratic Party, Pacheco served as a Representative from the 47th District (Burriville). He started in public office in 2001.

Prev Next

Guillaume de Ramel

Target Office: Secretary of State

Existing Office: None

Party: Democrat

Age: 38

Education: Hobart and William Smith Colleges; Bachelor’s Degree in Architectural Studies. Columbia University; M.S. in Real Estate Development.

Bio: De Ramel previously ran for Secretary of State in 2006 when he earned 47% of the vote. Increased transparency, accountability and improved technology could be some of the goals for de Ramel as he seeks to improve the interaction between the business community and the office of Secretary of State.

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Catherine Taylor

Target Office: Secretary of State

Existing Office: None -- Head of Department of Elderly Affairs

Party: Republican

Age: 52

Education: Yale University; Bachelor’s Degree in History. Georgetown University

Bio: Having lost the general election for Secretary of State to Ralph Mollis in 2010 in the most closely contested statewide race, Taylor should most likely once again seek appointment in 2014. She previously worked on the staffs of both Lincoln Chafee and John Chafee

Prev Next

Peter Kilmartin

Target Office: Attorney General of Rhode Island

Existing Office: Attorney General of Rhode Island

Party: Democrat

Age: 51

Education: Roger Williams University; Bachelor’s Degree of Science. Roger Williams University School of Law; Jurius Doctor Degree.

Bio: The incumbent Attorney General of Rhode Island will seek reelection in 2014. A native Rhode Islander and former Police captain, Kilmartin has served as both a State Representative and Attorney General.

Prev Next

Ernie Almonte

Target Office: General Treasurer

Existing Office: None

Party: Democrat

Age: 57

Education: Bryant University; Master’s Degree in Taxation. Harvard University School of Government.

Bio: Almonte recently announced his plans to run for General Treasurer of Rhode Island after having previously committed to running for Governor. Currently working as an assistant professor of advanced management and organizational strategies in Brown University’s graduate program, Almonte previously served as the State’s Auditor General for 16 years.

Prev Next

Frank Caprio

Target Office: General Treasurer

Existing Office: None

Party: Democrat

Age: 47

Education: Harvard University; Bachelor’s Degree in Economics. Suffolk University Law School; Jurus Doctor Degree.

Bio: The former General Treasurer will look to add to his twenty-year political career by seeking the seat once again in 2014. Caprio was the Democratic Party’s nominee in the 2010 governor election, eventually losing to the now Governor Chafee.


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Once again the slate is top heavy with liberal democrats (including the current governor}...and therein in lies the problem and the reason the state is in the condition it's in.Keep it up Rhode Island..you're going no place fast.

Comment #1 by LENNY BRUCE on 2013 05 17

If we are to have change it must come from the voters and that means those that do not normally vote. Think about it, RI usually gets about 30% of the voters out in any election and 90% of that is pre committed Democrat, state or local employees of the government, fire, police and schools. They have a vested interest, keeping their respectives jobs no matter how irrelevant they may be. So it will take new blood to make the passive voter come out for change. I am not sure the Gov spots has anyone really new with new ideas. Treasurer, Almonte is a sure win and will draw new voters out with his smart experience that will translate into a strong positive going forward from Gina R who now looks like an empty suite.
For sure RI is in a deep dive to a race to the bottom of any economic planning and vision but quite frankly, there are too many could be voters that have thrown in the towel.

Comment #2 by Gary Arnold on 2013 05 17

Not impressed with that collection of political smucks, except for maybe one. But either way after the next election it will probably bad business as usual.

Comment #3 by Mark St. Pierre on 2013 05 17

I really believe Allan Fung is our best best.

Comment #4 by LENNY BRUCE on 2013 05 18

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