Catherine Taylor on Monday launched her Republican campaign for lieutenant governor by vowing to use the office as a bully pulpit for improving the state's economic climate.
Taylor is a former aide to the late senator John Chafee, and she stepped down last week as head of the state Division of Elderly Affairs. Speaking outside the Business Innovation Factory in Providence's Olneyville section, Taylor was joined by her family and other Republicans, including gubernatorial candidates Allan Fung and Ken Block, in formally launching her campaign.
In acknowledging the limited official responsibilities of the LG, Taylor signaled her focus on an economic message. In particular, she says Rhode Island tax policies scare younger retirees away and discourage others from coming here, undermining a chance to boost the state's economy.
“So let’s start paying people what we need them to do through tax reform, to get this economy charging forward," Taylor says. "Stay here, move here, create jobs here! We have to make it pay for our people to stay.”
Taylor also called the lack of a more robust two-party system one of the fundamental problems facing the state.
In 2010, Taylor lost the race for secretary to state to Ralph Mollis by just over one percentage point. This time around, she’ll square off in November against one of three Democrats running for lieutenant governor: Mollis, state rep Frank Ferri, and Cumberland Mayor Daniel McKee.