Gov. Gina Raimondo was sworn in as the state’s first female governor Tuesday afternoon on the states of the state capitol.
A small crowd braved the cold and snow to watch the historic event. Gov-elect Charlie Baker of Massachusetts, former Gov. Lincoln Chafee and his wife Stephanie, and former Lt. Gov. Elizabeth Roberts were some of the dignitaries looking on.
Providence Business News Editor Mark Murphy joins Rhode Island Public Radio's Dave Fallon for our weekly business segment The Bottom Line.
This week, Dave and Mark talk with Cheryl Merchant, President and CEO of Hope Global in Cumberland. They discus Governor-elect Gina Raimondo’s economic summit this week: the ideas and expectations from the business community.
When to Listen
You can hear The Bottom Line each Friday at 5:50pm.
About 80 business people and other community leaders gathered Tuesday to find ways to bolster the state economy. Governor-elect Gina Raimondo used the event to introduce her point man on economic development.
Allan Fung said despite losing his bid for governor, he’s proud of the race he ran. Fung’s democratic rival Gina Raimondo won the race with just 40 percent of the vote. Fung said maybe it’s time for runoff elections.
"The moose was on the loose," is how Fung describes the 22 percent gleaned by Moderate Party candidate Bob Healey, referring to Healey’s days as the cool moose candidate. Fung’s main opponent, Gina Raimondo, is the second consecutive governor elected with less than 50 percent of the vote.
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.
There’s a photograph on Cranston Mayor Allan Fung’s desk of his first inauguration. He’s being sworn into the mayor’s office he has the family Bible and his parents are by his side. “I can see the pride in my mom’s eyes, in my dad’s eyes as I was getting sworn in,” said Fung.
He looks at this photo almost every day, “and it just reminds me of who I am and how far they’ve come, and because of what they did I’m where I am.”
The State Board of Elections has cleared the way for Bob Healey to be the Moderate Party’s candidate for governor. The state’s Republican Party challenged the Moderate Party’s move to put Healey on the ballot once James Spooner pulled out for health reasons.
Three questions needed to be answered: Did Spooner properly drop out of the governor’s race, was the Moderate Party authorized to tap Healey to replace Spooner, and was Healey eligible to run for governor. The Board of Elections answered all three questions with a yes.
Bob Healey, known for running for office under the Cool Moose Party, has thrown his hat in the ring for governor. This time for the Moderate Party.
Healey said he will refrain from taking any campaign contributions, and instead engage voters through what he calls “guerilla warfare style politics” – a low-budget campaign that will roll out its objectives through an online journal.
Healey said the Moderate Party approached him to run for governor after the initial candidate, James Spooner, had to bow out for health reasons.