slides: 20 Contenders for Statewide Office in 2014
Friday, November 30, 2012
With names already emerging as potential candidates for statewide office, GoLocalProv breaks down 20 key figures to watch for 2014.
Governor Chafee is still raising money at a pace that suggests he’ll seek re-election, but he’ll need a major win over the next 12 months to bring up his dismal approval numbers. The key for Chafee will be having a race similar to 2010 where he can run left of the Democratic and pull off the win with 33-35% of the vote.
The Providence Mayor remains one of the most popular politicians in the state and those close to him say he is seriously considering a run for the state’s top post. There is concern that he would square off with General Treasurer Gina Raimondo in a Democratic primary, but supporters believe he’ll be able to win the support of the unions, which is crucial in a low-turn race.
The General Treasurer is polling high and has clearly established herself as the state’s top fundraiser. Now she has to hope the courts won’t throw out the state’s pension reform bill, which has been her crowning achievement in his first two years in office.
Photo Credit: Gammino Photography
The well-liked Cranston Mayor may be the Republicans’ best shot at capturing the Governor’s seat again. If he can negotiate a pension reform package with his unions and retirees the same way Mayor Taveras did in Providence and the statewide pension overhaul is killed in court, Fung will become even more of a star. The question is whether he can raise enough money to compete with Chafee or any of the top Democrats
Many Republicans believe Robitaille, who finished second to Chafee in 2010, deserves another chance. He’s a smart and likable guy who appeals to conservatives more than Fung, but also earned respect for not getting into the mud pit with Chafee and Frank Caprio two years ago. Money will probably be the biggest issue for Robitaille, as Raimondo may end up raising even more than Caprio.
The first to throw his hat in the ring, Almonte says he has no plans on leaving a Democratic primary no matter who ends up in the race (some believe he’d be a better General Treasurer candidate this time around). Almonte should be able to raise enough money to be competitive against Raimondo or Taveras, but he needs to build his name recognition significantly over the next 12-16 months before things start to heat up.
It appears as though the chairman of the Moderate Party will take another shot at Governor, unless he can find someone else to run as the Moderate candidate. Block earned respect for his debate performances in 2010, but was unable to build enough name recognition to make things competitive.
The sitting Lieutenant Governor is term-limited and while she hasn’t indicated that she wants to run for Governor, she hasn’t completely ruled it out either. There are some who believe Governor Chafee may end up receiving a cabinet job from the Obama administration before his term is up, which would catapult Roberts to the top job by 2014.
The Warwick Mayor always has his name thrown around for statewide office, but 2014 might finally be time to pull the trigger. The Republican would likely have a free shot at whichever Democrat wins in the primary and there are plenty of Democrats who would support his candidacy.
The Cumberland Mayor has never been shy about his interest in running for higher office and might see Lieutenant Governor as his best bet in two years. Mayor McKee would need to lock up most of the suburban communities in a primary to be able to knock off someone like Mollis, who should do well in the cities and in his hometown of North Providence.
Secretary of State
The chairman of the Democratic party is expected to run for the office and would probably be the favorite to win the endorsement in a primary. He’s a young, energetic voice that has plenty of statewide appeal (he even spends plenty of time on talk radio where conservatives have gotten to know him).
Secretary of State
The State Senator from Pawtucket has had his name thrown around for a potential Secretary of State run for over a year and doesn’t appear likely to back away. Doyle would need to raise him name recognition, but he benefits from having a strong family name (his father was Mayor of Pawtucket) and shouldn’t have a problem raising money.
Secretary of State
Another ambitious State Senator, Juan Pichardo could win a lot of support in many of the urban communities if he were to throw his hat in the ring. It is unclear if the Senator could raise enough money to be competitive, but he probably has the name recognition to take a shot.
Secretary of State
The Providence Councilman is another wild card in the Secretary of State’s race. He has made it clear he would like to run for the office, but those close to him have said he may end up settling for a shot at Council President if Michael Solomon leaves. Still, Hassett has spent a lifetime in politics and would have plenty of support from labor unions if he were to jump in the race.
After losing his State Rep. seat to Teresa Tanzi two years ago, David Caprio has disappeared from public light. But those close to him say he’d be very interested in running for the office his brother Frank occupied from 2006-2010. Caprio has plenty of money and in a race that will receive less attention than the majority of the other statewide races, he’d certainly have a chance.
The Providence Council President will likely run for Mayor if Angel Taveras runs for higher office, but if Taveras doesn’t end up pulling the trigger, don’t be surprised if Solomon takes a long the office his father held for six terms between 1977 and 1993.
Very few names have emerged as potential challenger to the sitting Attorney General, which means Peter Kilmartin may be able to sit back and take it easy while the rest of the statewide offices are up for grabs. Kilmartin will certainly have a Republican challenger, but unless something goes wrong over the next two years, he shouldn’t have a problem winning re-election.