Providence, R.I. – The 43-year-old Jonathan Scott lives on the east side. He's a self-employed public relations consultant who says Providence can add jobs by building on its existing strengths of universities and hospitals.
"You partner with Brown, you partner with Lifespan. I think they take a lot of hits for having tax-free properties in Providence," Scott says. " And I think we need to start to actually ask them to get into public-private partnership with the city on different projects."
Scott wants a broad public discussion on how to find the best use for the land being opened up by the relocation of interstate 195. He also backs an elected school board, rather than one appointed by the mayor.
Scott has never held elective office, although he twice ran in the 1st Congressional District as a Republican. He also lacks the more robust fundraising of most of his Democratic rivals. Rather than disadvantages, he calls these good reasons to vote for him -- to fix what he calls a broken city.
"It's only going to be fixed if we bring in folks who haven't been part of the problem, says Scott." We need new faces, new voices, we need fresh blood, and we need fresh approaches. We need to think outside of the box."
Scott might be a long shot in the race to succeed two-term mayor David Cicilline. But as an independent, with no primary run-off, he's guaranteed a slot on the November ballot.