Political news


Besides the competitive state elections and ballot questions, voters next week will elect every member of the Rhode Island General Assembly. As part of our Rhody Votes ’14 coverage, RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay speaks with morning host Elisabeth Harrison for a look at the major battles in the state legislature.


Newport residents defeated the expansion of table games like poker and blackjack at Newport Grand slot parlor two years ago.  But because casinos with table games are likely coming to southern Massachusetts, the issue is back on the ballot. 

This time however, a team of developers want to buy Newport Grand, and they have a plan to sweeten the pot, hoping to get approval.  As part of our Rhody Votes coverage Rhode Island Public Radio’s John Bender explains how the issue is dividing residents in this historic city by the sea.

File / RIPR

As part of our Rhody Votes election coverage, we’re taking a look at the Providence mayor’s race. The Republican, Daniel Harrop, has rolled out an unorthodox campaign: its cornerstone is to put the city into

receivership, he’s used his time in debates to criticize independent Buddy Cianci, is weighing the option of dropping out of the race, and made a thousand dollar donation to his Democratic challenger Jorge Elorza.

Ambar Espinoza / RIPR

Rhode Island's high unemployment rate is at the top of many voters’ minds this election season. This year’s gubernatorial candidates have offered different ways to create jobs. But the Ocean State’s next governor will also need to tackle a wide range of environmental issues. As part of our Rhody Votes ’14 coverage, Rhode Island Public Radio environmental reporter Ambar Espinoza explores what those issues are.

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Gina Raimondo joins Bonus Q&A to discuss her campaign and a range of other issues, including the economy, manufacturing, the state Ethics Commission & more.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Gina Raimondo joins Political Roundtable this week to discuss her campaign, the impact of outside money, the outlook on solving the pension dispute, and the race for mayor in Providence.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

The Republican running in the Providence mayor's race said he's considering dropping out of the race. Daniel Harrop said his three percent showing in the Brown University Taubman Center poll released Thursday forced him to consider the option.

Harrop said he will meet with his team to discuss how bowing out would affect the race, before making a decision. Harrop has sharply criticized independent Buddy Cianci, a former mayor and twice convicted felon.  

Catherine Welch / RIPR

Providence mayoral candidate Jorge Elorza said he’ll make it a priority to reduce the bite of the car tax if he wins the race for City Hall.

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Gina Raimondo joined Elorza at a Silver Lake car lot today Wednesday to talk about the issue. Elorza said it’s important to raise Providence’s car tax exemption of a thousand dollars since the tax hits low-income residents the hardest.

Elisabeth Harrison

As the days tick down before the November election, we’re looking at the major issues and the candidates in Rhode Island’s race for governor. Today in our Rhody Votes ’14 coverage, Rhode Island Public Radio education reporter Elisabeth Harrison delves into the front runners' positions on education, from expanding charter schools to preparing graduates for the workforce needs of the 21st Century.

On the heels of a heated debate, the front runners in the race for governor continued the sparring Wednesday.

Republican Allan Fung is criticizing Democratic rival Gina Raimondo for not having attending a board meeting of Rhode Island Housing in more than a year. Given a series of problems at the agency, Fung says Raimondo should have personally attended meetings to offer oversight.

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.


Catherine Welch / RIPR

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.”

John Bender / RIPR

Former delegates to the 1986 Constitutional Convention are speaking out against the event Rhode Islanders will vote on November 4th. 

1986 was the last time the state held a Constitutional Convention.  The state can hold one once every ten years, pending voter approval.  Delegates are elected to the convention which creates legislation then voted on by the public; bypassing the general assembly.  Critics say the delegates can be easily swayed by special interest groups, because they are not seeking reelection.  Tom Izzo was a delegate in 1986.


The three main candidates for governor will square off during a televised debate Tuesday evening.

Democrat Gina Raimondo, Republican Allan Fung, and Moderate Party candidate Robert Healey will take part in the 7 pm debate at the Providence Performing Arts Center. The forum will be the first televised debate since Raimondo and Fung won their respective party primaries on September 9th.

Elisabeth Harrison / RIPR

Republican Providence mayoral candidate Daniel Harrop has filed a complaint with the city solicitor over Buddy Cianci’s campaign signs.   Harrop says some of the signs are violating city ordinances because they are too large.