2014 providence mayoral race


Rhode Islanders will have a  chance to pay final respects to Buddy Cianci later this week, when his body lies in repose at City Hall. Even in death, Rhode Islanders debate the legacy of Providence's longest-serving mayor. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay shares his thoughts on Cianci.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

In Providence and in Rhode Island, Buddy Cianci was one of the most influential political figures of his generation, as well as one of the most controversial. His time as Providence mayor was marked by significant economic redevelopment, but also marred by violence, cronyism and corruption.

So Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza wants to build a trolley system. RIPR Political analyst Scott MacKay says this is a great idea, but can the city afford it?

Sure, it would  be wonderful to jump on a Providence  trolley system and ride from Brown University, down historic College Hill, to Rhode Island Hospital..

One can even imagine taking the trolley to a spanking new retro baseball stadium along the Providence River to watch the Boston Red Sox top minor league team.

Mayor Jorge Elorza has been in office at Providence City Hall for nearly three months now, but if you look at the city’s official economic development web site, you might come to the conclusion that Angel Taveras is still mayor.

Gov. Gina  Raimondo’s first budget proposes stripping about $2.5 million in state Payments-in-lieu of Taxes aid from Providence city government and another $1.1 million in such payments from Cranston. If you believe the General Assembly is going to allow these cuts you probably believe in the Easter Bunny.

Raimondo’s problem: The communities being hit on this one happen to be home to two of the most influential state lawmakers –House Speaker Nick Mattiello, D-Cranston, and House Majority Leader John DeSimone, D-Providence.


Today is the annual Martin Luther King Jr., holiday. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay ponders what we can do to advance King’s legacy in Rhode Island.

The great civil rights leader’s legacy will be celebrated across  Rhode Island today in song, sermon and remembrance.  Voices will echo with the strains of James Weldon Johnson’s `Lift Every Voice and Sing’ and that iconic anthem of the civil rights movement, `We Shall Overcome.’

Mayor Jorge Elorza pledged to build a `New Providence’  amid an improving economy  as he delivered his inaugural address this afternoon on the chilly, sun-splashed steps  of Providence’s Beaux-Arts City Hall.

Elorza, the second consecutive mayor of Latino descent tied his immigrant family’s journey  with Providence’s history as a welcoming city for generations of the newly arrived and emphasized the need for a new economic order.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Jorge Elorza this afternoon will be inaugurated Providence’s mayor. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay parses the challenges the new mayor faces.

After impressive primary and general election  victories, law professor Elorza takes over the spacious second-floor office in the capital city’s Beaux-Arts City Hall. Since his election he has wisely reached out to the city’s warring political and ethnic tribes as he prepares to govern a 21st Century ancient New England port that had its beginnings in the 17th Century.

Ian Donnis/File Photo / RIPR

Providence Mayor-elect Jorge Elorza joins Political Roundtable to discuss his victory in this week's election and what it means for Rhode Island's capital city; the win for governor by Democrat Gina Raimondo over Republican Allan Fung; the continued electoral success of Rhode Island Democrats; and the defeat at the polls for a constitutional convention.

Providence Mayor-elect Jorge Elorza joins Bonus Q+A to talk about a host of issues facing the city, including taxes, schools, the structural deficit, relations with the City Council, and developing the former I-195 land.

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

Among the grand ironies of Rhode Island politics is that Providence’s East Side, the neighborhood that vaulted Buddy Cianci into City Hall 40 years ago in his first upset victory for mayor, proved to be the impregnable roadblock to Cianci’s mayoral redemption tour yesterday.

When the returns rolled in last night, it was evident that when the East Side neighborhood votes were tallied, Democrat Jorge Elorza had rolled up such big margins that there was no way Cianci had a chance at an improbable Last Hurrah victory.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Gina Raimondo made history Tuesday night as the first woman to get elected as governor of Rhode Island. Raimondo is also the first Democrat to win the state’s top job in 22 years.

Raimondo beat Republican rival Allan Fung with unofficial numbers showing her with 40 percent to Fung’s 36 percent, with Moderate Party candidate Robert Healey drawing 22 percent of the vote.

Latest talk among Democratic operatives: Optimism about Elorza in Providence, worry about Raimondo in governor's race. If she loses there will be lots of second-guessing her general election campaign.

The Rhode Island gubernatorial election between Democrat Gina Raimondo and Republican Allan Fung has become much closer than anyone thought even a month ago. Raimondo’s lackluster general election campaign, which followed a very well done primary effort, is surely part of her problem.

It's almost all over but the crying. After years of run-up, Rhode Island's 2014 election is at hand. So thanks for stopping by, and feel free to drop me a line (idonnis (at) ripr (dot) org) and to follow me on the twitters. Here we go.


Why have political campaigns become so relentlessly negative? RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay says it reflects the cynicism of the times and the way political money is raised and spent.

Click the television remote as many times as you like but don’t expect to escape the nasty political spots running nonstop until the polls close tomorrow. Hike to the mailbox and you’re greeted by an avalanche of political flyers spreading dirt on one politician or another. Ditto for the Internet.