Brett Smiley, chairman of the Providence Water Supply Board and Democratic political consultant, said today that he is forming a Smiley for Mayor Committee to explore a run for Providence mayor in 2014 if Mayor Angel Taveras decides to run for governor, as many top Democrats expect.
Smiley has floated his candidacy before, but today is the first time he has established a committee. His exploratory committee will be co-chaired by former State Sen. Myrth York, the Democratic Party’s gubernatorial nominee in 1994, 1998 and 2002, and Christine West, chairwoman of the Providence Plan Commission.
Lauren Nocera, former chair of the Providence Democratic City Committee and a well-regarded voter turnout expert, will serve as a senior adviser to Smiley. Nocera was campaign manager for the Taveras mayoral campaign in 2010.
York, who is chairwoman of the city’s Zoning Board of Review, lives on the East Side. West lives on the West side and Nocera resides in the Elmhurst neighborhood. Smiley also announced that Sally Lapides, a prominent East Side realtor and owner of the Residential Properties real estate firm, will serve as committee treasurer.
Smiley has been active in Democratic politics in Rhode Island and was campaign manager for former Lt. Gov. Charles Fogarty’s 2006 campaign for governor. Fogarty lost a very close contest to incumbent Republican Donald Carcieri.
``I love Providence and know first-hand the positive impact a passionate and committed mayor can have on the city and its residents,’’ Smiley said in a statement.