Raimondo won't rule out changing parties; says she's not thinking about it

Dec 21, 2012

State Treasurer Gina Raimondo doesn't want to completely close the door on the possibility of changing her party affiliation.

During an interview today, I asked the the treasurer whether there's a chance she might switch parties for a campaign in 2014. Here's her response:

"I would say, I'm not thinking about it.  A lot of people are talking about that. I'm a Democrat -- I believe in government. I'm personally a beneficiary of government.  I wouldn't be where I am without the RIPTA bus and my dad went to college on the GI bill.

"I'm in government because I believe in government. I believe that we have to make government work. Everyone talks about the size of government; I believe the right focus is, does government work? Let's make it effective. let's take a balanced approach and make government part of the solution. So I very much believe in government,  and I think that's very consistent with being a Democrat."

Raimondo used similar Democratic themes when she ran for treasurer in 2010, including during an appearance before the endorsement meeting of the AFL-CIO.

Still, I wondered; will she rule out changing parties?

RAIMONDO: "I really haven't thought about it."

DONNIS: "Are you a Democrat to stay?"

RAIMONDO: "As I said,  I'm not-- I know you're trying to get me to say, to put words in my mouth."

I told the treasurer I was trying to get her to answer a question.

It's a relevant question, too, considering the dynamics of a Democratic gubernatorial primary in 2014, and how Raimondo's predecessor, Frank Caprio, reportedly flirted with the idea of running as a Republican for governor in 2010. Like another expected Democratic candidate, Providence Mayor Angel Taveras, Raimondo has been known by pollsters to fare better with Republicans than Democrats. Meanwhile, independent Governor Lincoln Chafee says he's considering running for re-election as a Dem.

Raimondo says she doesn't have a timetable for revealing a decision about whether she'll run for governor in 2014:

"It's interesting how much focus there is on it when we still have [a bit less than] two years to go before the election, and a lot of work to do .... I am thinking about runnning and at some point I'll have to make that decision."

I'll keep you posted on the time for the broadcast of my interview with the treasurer.