2014 governor's race

John Bender / RIPR

Rhode Island's roads and bridges have been crumbling for years. So why did the most powerful pol in the state, House Speaker Gordon Fox, team up Thursday with one of Rhode Island's top-two emerging political stars, state Treasurer Gina Raimondo, to unveil a new plan for funding road and bridge improvements during a well-attended Statehouse news conference?

Gold star if you guessed "2014."

Moderate Party founder Ken Block, who's had a winning week in the news cycle, says he's still thinking about a possible gubernatorial run in 2014. He got 6.5 percent of vote in a four-way field in 2010.

"I'm just trying to figure it all out," Block said during a taping of RIPR's Bonus Q+A.

The full segment -- covering his fraud and waste report, the master lever, and why more businessmen don't become politically active, among other topics --  airs Friday at 6:40 and 8:40 a.m.

Block says he's still in assessment mode on a future campaign:

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Brendan Doherty says he has "absolutely, positively no intention" of running as a Republican candidate for attorney general in 2014, although he's still considering a campaign for governor.

Some Republicans hope that Doherty, the former superintendent of the state police, would represent the GOP as an alternative to Democratic AG Peter Kilmartin in next year's race for attorney general. But Doherty sounds distinctly uninterested in the idea.

While state Treasurer Gina Raimondo remains publicly undecided on a run for governor next year, the president of a top national fundraising organization for women candidates has no doubts.

"Gina Raimondo is going to jump in and run," Stephanie Schriock, the president of EMILY's List, tells Hotline on Call, a DC publication.

We remain stuck in the pit of winter, judging by the forecast for the latest in a string of storms. Yet things are already percolating for our next massive political season, so let's get to it. As always, your thoughts, tips, and reactions are welcome at idonnis (at) ripr (dot) org.

RI Treasurer Gina Raimondo
RIPR file

State Treasurer Gina Raimondo is hiring Andrew Roos, an experienced campaign operative who helmed Myrth York's 2002 gubernatorial general election campaign, as her chief of staff, RIPR has learned. The move is the latest signal that Raimondo is very likely to run for governor in 2014.

Raimondo's chief of staff since 2011, Joe Pratt, will reportedly get a different job within her office.

State Treasurer Gina Raimondo lived up to her reputation as a high-flying political fundraiser in 2012, closing the year with an increase of more than $1 million in her campaign account.

Raimondo's Q4 report shows her with a balance of $1,359,191. That's an increase of $1,049,153 from where her campaign account stood ($310,038) at the start of 2012. It also puts her considerably ahead of Providence Mayor Angel Taveras, who closed 2012 with a balance of $413,283 (a gain of $288,148 from the start of the year).

Ian Donnis

State Senator Donna Nesselbush (D-Pawtucket) joins myself, Scott MacKay and Maureen Moakley on the Roundtable this week as we discuss the outlook for same-sex marriage. Other topics include bipartisan support for immigration reform in the US Senate, the State of the City address by Providence Mayor Angel Taveras and state Treasurer Gina Raimondo's mid-term report.

Governor Lincoln Chafee says his new budget builds on attempts by his administration to position Rhode Island for better days. Joined by RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay, we also talk about the fight over same-sex marriage legislation, the governor's political plans for 2014, and other issues.

Ian Donnis

Glimmers of Lincoln Chafee's campaign message for 2014 are starting to emerge as part of the media offensive in support his latest budget.

Time for my my weekly column. Thanks for stopping by. Feel free to share thoughts via email at idonnis (at) ripr (dot) org and stay abreast of stuff during the week with my Twitter feed.

Warwick Mayor Scott Avedisian, Cranston Mayor Allan Fung and 2012 CD1 candidate Brendan Doherty are keeping their lines of communication open as the three Republicans consider their possible moves for 2014.

A New Year, a new General Assembly session, and the formal/informal start of the 2014 campaign season are upon us. Welcome to another edition of my Friday column. Thanks for reading, and feel free to send me your tips or thoughts at idonnis (at) ripr (org). Here's the rundown:

RI Treasurer Gina Raimondo
Gina Raimondo

The fate of the 2011 pension overhaul in mediation is among the top issues facing the state starting this month. As we transition into the New Year, Rhode Island Public Radio political reporter Ian Donnis has been talking with state leaders. We’ve already heard from Governor Lincoln Chafee and state Senate president Teresa Paiva Weed…. Our latest interview is with state Treasurer Gina Raimondo.

The court-ordered pension mediation set to begin this month will take place against an intensifying political backdrop: the early stage of the 2014 gubernatorial race. State Treasurer Gina Raimondo says politics can remain separate and apart from the mediation process.

During a wide-ranging interview broadcast Thursday morning on RIPR, Raimondo pointed to the pension overhaul passed into law in 2011 as an example of policy-making in the public interest. 

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