Cianci Says He Expected A Two-Man Fight When He Entered the Mayoral Race

Jul 16, 2014

Cianci at a Federal Hill event in April.
Credit Ian Donnis/File Photo / RIPR

Buddy Cianci says he anticipated when he jumped into the Providence mayoral race last month that it would ultimately become a two-man fight.

"I always anticipated a two-man race when I made the decision to come into the field," Cianci, who is running as an independent, tells RIPR.

The mayoral field got smaller this week when Democrat-turned-independent Lorne Adrain ended his campaign, in an attempt to make a comeback more difficult for Cianci. Speculation continues about whether Republican candidate Daniel Harrop will end his run. For now, the mayoral race is a three-way battle.

Cianci, who squeaked through with about 34 percent of the vote during his 1990 comeback, says the idea that he can win only in a three-way field is incorrect.

"The fact of the matter is, after digesting it, analyzing it, and post-morteming it, I could have won it [in 1990] handily, because if [Andrew] Annaldo were not in the race, I don't think Fred Lippitt would have got those votes, I think I would have, because most of them peeled off to me, a lot of them did anyway."

Three of Cianci's six victories in mayoral races have come on very close margins; the 1990 victory was by 317 votes.

Jorge Elorza, Brett Smiley, and Michael Solomon are the top Democrats running in a primary that will be decided September 9.

While Smiley on Wednesday reiterated his interest in a pre-primary debate with Cianci, Cianci says he won't participate a debate until after the primary. "I will to see who the Democratic nominee is," he says. "I don't want to be involved in their fight ... [Smiley] has to go win his own primary before he can have the opportunity to debate myself."

In related news:

-- Cianci expects to open his campaign headquarters on Broad Street early next week, possibly as soon as Monday.

-- The former mayor says he raised close to $200,000 in the first week of his campaign.

Cianci says he thinks a new anti-Cianci Web site reflects an organized effort. He calls it "an elitist movement from certain factions on the East Side who want to control the power they have over City Hall even at this time."