2014 providence mayoral race

The winner of the Providence mayor’s race all comes down to who wins which neighborhoods.

Rhode Island Public Radio political analyst Scott MacKay has followed Providence politics for more than 25 years. Here’s his take on which wards Independent Buddy Cianci and Democrat Jorge Elorza have to win to become the next mayor of Providence.

John Bender / RIPR

When he visits Rhode Island Friday, President Barack Obama will speak about the improving national economy and the latest Gross Domestic Product data that was released today by the federal government.

Obama is scheduled to arrive at Green State Airport  this evening and stay overnight in Providence. While the White House is not disclosing where the president will stay, sources in Providence say it will be the Omni Hotel downtown, which is attached to the Rhode Island Convention Center.

As the hours dwindle until next Tuesday, Republican Allan Fung has a significant edge in campaign money over Democrat Gina Raimondo in the Rhode Island gubernatorial campaign.

Reports filed with the state Board of Elections show that Fung has about $270,000 remaining in his campaign account, while Raimondo’s campaign chest has only about $32,000. Moderate Party candidate Robert Healey, the third candidate in the race to succeed Lincoln Chafee as governor, has not solicited campaign contributions.

Catherine Welch / RIPR

The three candidates for mayor of Providence took part in a spirited debate last night at Rhode Island College.  The candidates mostly rehashed their stances while tossing sharp remarks at one another.

With a boisterous audience, it didn’t take long for things to get heated between independent Buddy Cianci, Democrat Jorge Elorza, and Republican Daniel Harrop. Cianci took aim at Harrop for contributing to Elorza’s campaign and saying he might vote for the Democrat.


To take a closer look at the Providence mayor’s race, we brought in Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Mike Stanton … who is considered by many the unofficial biographer of Buddy Cianci. A twice convicted felon, Cianci is running again for mayor. As part of our Rhody Votes election coverage, Rhode Island Public Radio’s Catherine Welch sat down with Stanton to talk about Cianci’s past and whether it is prologue.

For all of our election coverage, visit the Rhody Votes page at our website here.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

At age 73, Buddy Cianci’s passion for campaigning still burns bright. He’s the longest serving mayor in Providence history. But scandals have twice forced Cianci from City Hall, first in 1984 and then again in 2002. Yet Cianci keeps coming back, and no one underestimates him in his battle with Democrat Jorge Elorza.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Democratic candidate Jorge Elorza is the main obstacle keeping Buddy Cianci from regaining control of City Hall in Providence. The contrast between the two men is sharp: Cianci is a legendary political figure and twice-convicted felon. Elorza is a first-time candidate and a former Providence Housing Court judge.

Catherine Welch / RIPR

The latest twist in a Providence mayoral campaign that has seen as many as hula-hoop contest:  A new anti-Jorge Elorza independent expenditure political action committee financed by Morris Flancbaum.

In documents filed with the Rhode Island Board of Elections, the new pac, named the ``Committee for Safer Neighborhoods and Lower Taxes’’ reports a $38,648 television advertising buy with Cox Cable.

A spokeswoman for Providence Public Safety Commissioner Steven Pare has confirmed that two men who collected mail ballots for mayoral candidate Buddy Cianci at the Crossroads homeless shelter last week were off-duty city police officers.

A great fun time was had by all last night at the Fund for Community Progress event honoring longtime Providence Journal columnist Bob Kerr.  The time was held at the Pearl Restaurant on Charles Street in Providence.

Several hundred retired and still-working journalists jammed a function room at Pearl for an evening of humor and tributes to Kerr, who was fired by the ProJo in the latest round of job cuts by the newspaper’s new owners, an arm of the Gatehouse media empire.


Independent mayoral candidate Buddy Cianci released his plan for Providence Public Schools this week.

Noting that Providence students score well below average on standardized state tests, the former mayor, and twice convicted felon, focused on the need to provide quality education to all of the city’s children.

If voters re-elect him, Cianci said he would  give principals more autonomy, echoing a move already afoot in the district towards a policy known as “site-based management.” He proposed giving each school a

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Independent Providence mayoral candidate Buddy Cianci today filed a complaint with the Rhode Island Board of Elections against an East Side group, Priorities PVD, an independent political committee that has been running anti-Cianci advertising.

The complaint, which also names Cianci’s Democratic opponent, former city Housing Court Judge Jorge Elorza, and asserts that the group has formed a political action committee without filing required documents with the state election board and the secretary of state’s office. Cianci also claims that the group has coordinated with Elorza.

Aaron Read / RIPR

Rhode Islanders go to the polls in less than a week. Their choices, the state’s new leaders, will have to contend with the state’s budget shortfall. A huge chunk of that budget goes to health care.  

So, as part of our Rhody Votes ’14 coverage, Rhode Island Public Radio health care reporter Kristin Gourlay asks some of the state’s top health care stakeholders what steps those newly elected leaders can take to help.


Former Boston Mayor Ray Flynn is scheduled to endorse Buddy Cianci’s Providence mayoral campaign tonight at a fundraiser at the Rosario Society in Providence. Flynn is no stranger to Providence residents of a certain age; he was a standout college basketball player at Providence College who later played for the Boston Celtics. He also was ambassador to the Vatican during Bill Clinton’s administration and is a national spokesman for Roman Catholic issues, especially anti-abortion causes.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Three of Rhode Island's top former federal prosecutors staged a news conference Tuesday to discuss Providence mayoral candidate Buddy Cianci's criminal record and their concerns about his latest attempt to win back control of City Hall.