Buddy Cianci

Buddy Cianci’s mayoral portrait is scheduled to be unveiled Thursday evening at Providence City Hall with a reception to follow at the Roma restaurant on Federal Hill.

But there has been a last-minute change of plans because one of the men slated to officiate at Cianci’s ceremony – Providence City Archivist Paul Campbell – has been suspended with pay from his $60,000 a year job.


  The criticism came fast and hard for former Rhode Island governor Lincoln Chafee’s presidential debate performance. Yet RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay says this shouldn’t tarnish his family’s political legacy or his reputation for truth-telling.

The South Providence Recreation Center will be renamed tomorrow for the late John H. Rollins, a former Providence City Council member, civil rights activist and football star at both La Salle Academy and the University of Rhode Island.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Buddy Cianci withdrew more than $200,000 in contributions and interest from his Providence pension fund last November. The move means Cianci will forgo his city pension.

Cianci took roughly $209,000 in contributions and interest out of his retirement account last November. The move came shortly after he lost his attempt to return to City Hall to Democrat Jorge Elorza. Cianci has repeatedly said he would not apply for a Providence pension.

R.I.P. John Rollins

May 11, 2015

John Rollins, a former Providence city council member, civil rights activist and football star at La Salle Academy and the University of Rhode Island, has died. He was 77.

A witty, warm and friendly man with a wide smile, Rollins surprised Providence’s political community in 1986 when in an upset he defeated City Councilman Lloyd Griffin to win a Democratic primary in the 10th Ward on the city’s South Side.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza is slated to deliver his first budget address Wednesday. The capital city is facing a sizeable deficit.

The budget hole could be as large as $23 million. That’s a lot less than the deficit former Mayor Angel Taveras called a fiscal hurricane, but it’s still a significant gap to fill.

Mayor Jorge Elorza has pledged to cultivate broad-based economic growth, while holding the line against tax increases. Complicating the outlook is the fact that Providence needs to negotiate new contracts for teachers and municipal workers.

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.

Catherine Welch / RIPR

WPRI reporter Sean Daly has been on television airwaves in Rhode Island for more than 30 years. Now, he is officially retired. Daly visited our studios to talk with Rhode Island Public Radio’s Catherine Welch about how the state and the state of local news have changed over the past three decades.

He's written what’s often called “the first draft of history” for some of the biggest stories in the state: the Claus Van Bulow attempted murder trials, Buddy Cianci and Plunder Dome, the credit union crisis, and Central Falls filing for bankruptcy.

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.

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

His campaign for mayor of Providence may be over. But Buddy Cianci says he’s still not satisfied with how the race was run. On his radio show this  afternoon on WPRO, Cianci told listeners he plans to go forward with legal action against a group of opponents. He says they colluded against him illegally.

John Bender / RIPR

Gina Raimondo spent her first day as governor-elect meeting with constituents on Federal Hill.  And she’s now focusing on transitioning into state’s highest office.

Raimondo won’t say who will be on her team as she moves forward, or who in the current administration will be let go.  Though she said she hopes the Chafee administration will hold off on major staffing decisions, such as the education commissioner’s post, so that she can have a say once she assumes office in January.

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.

Buddy Cianci’s steep hill : Results from the Hope High School polling place on Providence’s East Side. The results show a huge landslide for Democrat Jorge Elorza. Elorza had 823 votes in the precinct, Cianci pulled a paltry 163 and Republican Dan Harrop had 31.

The same polling place carried good news for Gina Raimondo, who polled 805 to Allan Fung’s 151 and Bob Healey’s 50. Thanks to Brown super intern Emily Wooldridge for harvesting these results.

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.