Karl Wadensten, the CEO of Vibco Vibrators in Richmond, says he won't be a candidate for governor this year.
Wadensten revealed his decision during the taping this afternoon of Dan Yorke's State of Mind TV show on MYRI-TV.
A possible gubernatorial run by Wadensten has been a periodic source of speculation. Wadensten told the ProJo's Ed Fitzpatrick, in a column published last Sunday, that he planned to decide on a run for governor within four weeks. Wadensten has gained recent attention by donating equipment to help communities fill pot holes.
But the businessman says he decided not to run because he's focused on other things.
“I have three major initiatives I am currently working on that I am passionate about," Wadensten says in a news release. "Number one – working to change our culture by fixing roads in Rhode Island; Number two – my work with the Office of Regulatory Reform and the RI Commerce Commission to make it easier to do business in Rhode Island; and Number three – to support the reshoring of American manufacturing via my role as Chair of a global manufacturing organization, speaking, and advocating for operational excellence. I need to see those initiatives through.”
The businessman says he plans to remain active as an advocate and a voice for business.
Wadensten was the only board member of what is now known as Commerce RI to vote against the $75 million loan guarantee that lured Curt Schilling's 38 Studios video game company to Rhode Island. The business went bankrupt in 2012; Rhode Island taxpayers remain on the hook for about $90 million..