Happy mid-January, dear readers. Bad news: winter is far from over. Good news: spring training isn't that far, and the political beat remains busy. So thanks for stopping by, freel free to drop me a line at idonnis (at) ripr (dot) org, and to follow me on the twitters. Here we go.
R. David Cruise, an administrative magistrate for the state Traffic Tribunal and previous chief of staff for Bruce Sundlun and Joseph Montalbano, is joining Governer-elect Gina Raimondo's administration as legislative director.
"I think it's a great opportunity," Cruise, 58, tells RIPR. While leaving a judicial post for an executive staff position is highly unusual, Cruise said he's attracted by the chance to work with Raimondo -- "a dynamic leader" -- and wrestle with the state's problems. "I think it will be a very interesting experience for all of us."
Providence Mayor-elect Jorge Elorza on Tuesday filled four roles within his administration, appointing his campaign manager, Marisa O'Gara, a deputy chief of staff, and naming David Ortiz as senior adviser to the mayor and director of strategic communications.
Elorza also appointed Theresa Agonia as a deputy chief of staff, and Sheila Dormody as director of policy. Along with O'Gara and Ortiz, they will report to Chief of Staff Tony Simon.
Governor-elect Gina Raimondo on Monday named Michael DiBiase, a former chief of staff to Governor Lincoln Almond, as her nominee to be director of the state Department of Administration.
DiBiase, a Republican, left state government in 2001 to become vice president for government relations for Fidelity Investments. A graduate of Boston College and University of Pennsylvania law school, he residents in Narragansett with his wife, Janice Devitt.
Treasurer-elect Seth Magaziner is hiring Providence City Solicitor Jeff Padwa as deputy treasurer/legal counsel while retaining Andrew Roos as chief of staff.
Magaziner said Padwa brings "a wealth of experience" from his tenure as city solicitor during Providence Mayor Angel Taveras' administration since 2011, including overseeing a staff of more than 30 workers.
Pablo Rodriguez joins Political Roundtable this week as we discuss the outlook for a trial on the pension dispute; Governor-elect Gina Raimondo going out of state to pick her chief of staff; fallout from recent cases in New York and Ferguson, Missouri, and questions about unregistered lobbying.
Secretary of State-elect Nellie Gorbea plans to fill three key posts in her administration with Steve Gerencser as deputy secretary/chief of staff, Gonzalo Cuervo as senior adviser/communications director, and Melissa Long as deputy secretary/director of administration.
Gorbea was the top vote-getter in the November 4 election and became the first Hispanic woman elected to statewide office in New England.
Governor-elect Gina M. Raimondo has picked Stephen S. Neuman, director of public affairs for Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley, as her chief of staff.
“I am excited to have Steve help lead my team as we work to move Rhode Island forward," Raimondo said in a statement. “His experience working for governors in Maryland, North Carolina and Missouri will be invaluable as we work to find new and creative solutions here.”
Rhode Island's crop of newly elected officials are starting to staff up as we move toward the Thanksgiving lull later this month. Thanks for stopping by. As always, feel free to drop me a line at idonnis (at) ripr (org) and to follow me on the twitters. Let's get to it.