Victor Capellan

Elisabeth Harrison

Students and teachers are returning to classrooms across Rhode Island, including Central Falls, where a new superintendent has just taken charge. 

The school official who oversaw a state-ordered turnaround at Central Falls High School will be one of the key figures in Democrat Jorge Elorza's transition team, as Elorza prepares to take over as mayor of  Providence in January.

Victor Capellan has been named one of three co-directors for Elorza's team. Capellan served as the "transformation officer" and deputy superintendent for the Central Falls School District during the overhaul of Central Falls High School.

Catherine Welch / RIPR

Victor Capellan, Sally Lapides, and Lisa Ranglin have been named as co-chairs of the transition team for Providence Mayor-elect Jorge Elorza. Marisa O'Gara, who managed Elorza's campaign, will be spokeswoman for the transition.


An educator who works in Central Falls has decided not to run for mayor of Providence.  The decision by Victor Capellan leaves the field with just one Latino candidate.

Capellan is a longtime political activist who took steps to organize a campaign earlier this year. He said the demands of his job as a deputy school superintendent in Central Falls are why he’s pulling out of the race.

Central Falls educator Victor Capellan has folded the tent on his 2014 Providence mayoral run, leaving Jorge Elorza as the lone Latino candidate in the race.

Capellan, a longtime political activist, says Elorza didn't encourage him to leave the campaign. Yet it's clear that the departure, coming on the heels of Ward 15 Councilwoman Sabina Matos' decision last week to seek re-election, accrues to Elorza's benefit.


The head of the Providence City Council says there aren’t any easy answers for cutting high commercial taxes in the capital city. Providence has among the highest commercial tax rates in the country.

Providence Mayor Angel Taveras has frozen the commercial tax rate in Rhode Island’s largest city. But the cost of the tax is still seen as an obstacle to new development.

City Council President Michael Solomon says city officials are limited in their ability to improve the situation beyond trying to encourage a broader tax base.

Providence City Council President Michael Solomon, a likely candidate for mayor next year, joins Bonus Q+A to talk about school, the economy, the vacant Superman Building and other issues facing Rhode Island's capital city.

As the $110 million deficit of January 2011 recedes in the rear-view mirror, Providence still faces sharp economic challenges. One of the most serious is how Rhode Island's capital city desperately needs a broader tax base, even as its highest-in-the-nation commercial taxes discourages the very economic development that would improve the situation.

Providence mayoral candidate Jorge Elorza plans to use his just-launched campaign Website to spark his fundraising efforts, hoping to raise an initial $30,000 in the just-under 30 days until the end of the third quarter on September 30.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Jorge Elorza, a professor at Roger Williams University Law School, is gearing up to run for mayor of Providence if Angel Taveras seeks another office.

"If Angel decides to run for governor, I will run for mayor," Elorza said Wednesday, in his first interview on the subject.

Two of the candidates hoping to succeed Angel Taveras as mayor of Providence have posted Web sites to offer visibility, attract supporters, and raise money.

Council President Michael Solomon's site is called Mike for Providence.

Capellan, an educator in Central Falls and veteran of Providence politics, is a bit more oblique with his eponymous site (although not so much with a background shot of the Providence skyline, including the now-vacant Superman Building).

Educator Victor Capellan, a veteran of Latino politics in Rhode Island, says he plans to run for mayor of Providence in 2014 if Angel Taveras seeks a different office.

Taveras, like state Treasurer Gina Raimondo, is widely expected to run for governor. Independent Governor Lincoln Chafee plans to seek re-election; the only other declared candidate at this point is former state auditor Ernest Almonte, a Democrat.