Clay Pell

Michelle Kwan, the most celebrated figure skater in U.S. history and spouse of unsuccessful R.I. gubernatorial candidate Clay Pell, has been chosen to deliver the commencement address at Salve Regina University in Newport.

Kwan, now a U.S. State Department official and a U.S. public diplomacy envoy, was recently nominated to serve on the board of the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts.

A graduate of the University of Denver, Kwan also earned a master’s degree from Tufts University’s Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, majoring in international relations.

With more than a hint of fall in the air, the general election candidates are driving toward the finish line. So sit back, take a read of my weekly notes, feel free to drop me a line at idonnis (at) ripr (dot) org, and take a gander at the twitters. Here we go.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Gina Raimondo’s top two Democratic primary rivals expressed their support for her during a unity event in Cranston Friday. The gathering took place in the home city of Raimondo’s GOP opponent, Allan Fung.

Ambar Espinoza / RIPR

Providence Mayor Angel Taveras says he has no regrets about his thwarted campaign for governor, nor does he wish he sought a second term as mayor. He’s is officially throwing his support behind General Treasurer Gina Raimondo in the Governor’s race.

Did Rhode Island's primary election on Tuesday reflect a repudiation of the status quo or a reinforcement of political norms? A fair bit of each, as it turns out, dear reader. So consider the evidence presented below, feel free to drop me a line at idonnis (at) ripr (dot) org, and stay tuned on the twitters for more of my dispatches as we move toward November 4. 

Ian Donnis / RIPR

The primaries are over and now it’s time for the main event. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay parses the Rhode Island campaign for governor.

Rhode Island voters will make history in November by choosing either Republican Allan Fung or Democrat Gina Raimondo as their next governor. Raimondo would be the first woman governor;  Fung would be the first Asian-American.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Powered by the top-spending campaign, state Treasurer Gina Raimondo scored a decisive Democratic gubernatorial victory over her two main rivals Tuesday, in a campaign dominated by debate about Rhode Island's long-suffering economy and the pension overhaul spearheaded by Raimondo in 2011.

Unofficials returns showed Raimondo with 42.2 percent of the vote, compared with 29.2 percent for Angel Taveras, and 26.9 percent for Clay Pell

If Gina Raimondo wins Tuesday's Democratic primary, she'll be a step closer to becoming Rhode Island's first woman governor, the victory will validate her far-flung network of supporters, and Raimondo's already-considerable national profile will soar to new heights.

But what if Raimondo, the favorite on the Democratic side of the race, were to lose?

Four days until primary day in Rhode Island, and then a sprint to the November 4 general election. So thanks for stopping by for my weekly column. As always, feel free to drop me a line at idonnis (at) ripr (dot) org, and to follow me on the twitters. Here we go.

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Clay Pell was a registered Republican as a young man in Arizona.  Pell registered as a Democrat when he moved to Newport in 2003.

Pell says he registered as a Republican at age 17 because that was the party of his parents. Pell has described himself in this campaign as the progressive Democrat in the race, and he says there’s no contradiction between that message his earlier GOP affiliation.


Scott MacKay, Maureen Moakley, and guest panelist Ted Nesi of join me as we discuss the Democratic and Republican gubernatorial primaries that will be decided Tuesdat, and the Providence Democratic primary between Michael Solomon and Jorge Elorza.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

The 5 major candidates for governor discussed a range of issues during two separate debates Wednesday). The forums sponsored by Rhode Island Public Radio and Channel 10 came just six days before the statewide primary September 9th.

With less than a week to go until the primary election, the candidate hit on familiar themes while making a late push for votes.

One of the oldest chestnuts in close political campaigns is that the candidate who has the best last week wins.

That applies to the two elections that appear to be going down to the wire: The Democratic primaries for governor and Providence mayor.

In Providence, the contest between newcomer Jorge Elorza, a former Housing Court judge, and City Council President Michael Solomon looks like a nail-biter at this point.  Solomon advantages:  more money, a track record in City Hall and what ought to be a better get-out-the-vote operation.

If the Rhode Island political news is coming this hot and heavy, what's it going to be like next week? The September 9 primary witching hour is steadily approach, so welcome back for another edition of my Friday column. Your tips and thoughts are always welcome at idonnis (at) ripr (dot) org, and the land of 140-character notes awaits you via the twitters. Here we go.

Providence Business News Editor Mark Murphy joins Rhode Island Public Radio's Dave Fallon for our weekly business segment The Bottom Line.

This week news director Catherine Welch and Mark talk with Rhode Island Public Radio political analyst Scott MacKay. They discuss what Gov. Lincoln Chafee has hit and missed to boost the state’s economy and what the next governor will need to do to lift the state out of its economic doldrums.

When to Listen

You can hear The Bottom Line each Friday at 5:50pm.