NEW: Raimondo Mentee Running for State Senate
Tuesday, April 24, 2012
A former EngageRI consultant who considers General Treasurer Gina Raimondo a mentor says she will challenge longtime State Senator Paul Jabour in a Democratic primary in District 5.
“I am running for State Senate because I think that the General Assembly needs new energy and new ideas,” Kelly said. “I believe that too many parents and students in Providence are dissatisfied with our public schools. Small businesses and working families in our district are struggling. Like many states and cities, we are in fiscal crisis. Providence needs strong advocates for our city at the statehouse. I have a passion to connect with constituents in my district and represent them in tackling these difficult issues in state government.
Records show Kelly, who has a Bachelor’s Degree from Notre Dame and a Master’s from Princeton, made $15,685 between October and December of 2011 as a consultant for EngageRI, the pro-pension reform group which supported Raimondo’s efforts to reform the state’s struggling pension system last year.
Despite their personal relationship, Kelly said she expects Raimondo to follow through on pledge made last year to support General Assembly members who voted in favor of pension reform. Jabour and all but two of his Senate colleagues voted in favor of the legislation.
“I consider the General Treasurer a personal friend and an inspiration for putting aside her professional life to go into public service,” Kelly said. “However I understand that I am in a competitive Democratic primary and I do not anticipate that she will endorse my candidacy.”
Kelly said her current focus is to earn the support of voters in her district.
“The support I care about most is from my neighbors in the 5th District,” Kelly said. “I will be happy to discuss my views and experience with Engage RI or any other group, and they can each decide to support me if they choose. Right now I am most focused on listening to concerns of the people in my district.”