Elorza Flip-Flops, Backs Lt. Gov. Challenger Regunberg After Refusing to Support Ranglin-Vassell
Monday, March 19, 2018
On Monday, Elorza shed his "incumbent" argument and announced his support for progressive State Representative Aaron Regunberg in the Democratic primary for Lieutenant Governor against Dan McKee.
When responding to why he supported the challenger in this race, Elorza cited deep personal ties with Regunberg as well as "shared values."
Elorza refused to respond to why then he would not have supported Ranglin-Vassell versus the conservative DeSimone who had taken political contributions from the NRA.
Questions again arise about Elorza’s lack of support for minority candidates. A GoLocal investigation in 2015 found that nearly all of Elorza's senior appointees were white -- department directors and top staffers. He has appointed some people of color to junior staff positions.
As GoLocal reported:
Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza promised a new era and inclusion, but his top appointments to top-level management positions in the administration are all white.
The appointments stand in stark contrast to the City of Providence which is less than 50% white, according to the latest Census data from 2010 -- which should see significant change in the next count.
"Where is the diversity at the top Elorza Administration? There's none," said NAACP Providence Branch President Jim Vincent. "I need to talk with him. He needs to understand the politics, or he won't be reelected."
Elorza recently appointed Russell Knight to head up the Department of Public Works, and East Sider Wendy Nilsson to the Parks Departments (amidst questions as to her qualifications). Elorza's top two aides -- Chief of Staff Tony Simon and Chief Operating Officer and former opponent-turned-supporter Brett Smiley -- make over $250,000 combined.
Since that article appeared both Simon and Smiley left city employ and they have been replaced a number of times — both of their subsequent appointees were white.
At the end of the fourth quarter of 2016, Regunberg -- who has deep national progressive ties -- had over $275,000 cash on-hand; incumber McKee listed just over $125,000.
Related Slideshow: GoLocal: Benchmark Poll, October 2017
Next year, in November of 2018, there will be a statewide general election for Governor and many other state offices. How likely is it that you will vote in this election?
Will you definitely be voting, will you probably be voting, are you 50-50...
Definitely be voting: 78%
Probably be voting: 13%
What would you say is the number one problem facing Rhode Island that you would like the Governor to address?
Jobs and economy: 21%
State budget: 9%
Corruption/Public integrity: .8%
Don’t know: .9%
Recently, a proposal has been made to permit the issuance of $81 million in bonds by the State to build a new stadium for the Pawtucket Red Sox. If there was an election today on this issue, would you vote to approve or reject issuing $81 million in financing supported moral obligation bonds to build the stadium?
Net: Approve: 28%
Definitely approve: 15%
Probably approve: 14%
Net: Reject: 67%
Probably reject: 19%
Definitely reject: 48%
Don't know: 4%
The next question is about the total income of YOUR HOUSEHOLD for the PAST 12 MONTHS. Please include your income PLUS the income of all members living in your household (including cohabiting partners and armed forces members living at home).
$50,000 or less: 27%
More $50,000 but less than $75,000: 13%
More $75,000 but less than $100,000: 13%
More $100,000 but less than $150,000: 17%
$150,000 or more: 13%
Don't know/refused: 17%
What particular ethnic group or nationality - such as English, French, Italian, Irish, Latino, Jewish, African American, and so forth - do you consider yourself a part of or feel closest to?
Black or African American: 6%
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