Seth Magaziner Formally Announces "Outsider" Campaign for Treasurer

Oct 22, 2013

Seth Magaziner, the youngest and least politically experienced of three Democrats running for general treasurer, formally announced his campaign Tuesday morning.

Seth Magaziner has formally announced his campaign for State Treasurer.
Credit Trillium Asset Managment

Magaziner uses a video on his campaign Web site to tout his credentials for the job now held by Gina Raimondo, who is expected to run for governor next year. Magaziner points to his roots in Bristol and his family's legacy of public service (his father, Ira, authored the Greenhouse Compact, a 1984 effort to rejuvenate Rhode Island's economy, and he remains close to Bill and Hillary Clinton); how he worked for Teach for America in a poor Louisiana school district after graduating from Brown; Magaziner says he oversees more than $1 billion in investments as a VP at the socially responsible investment firm Trillium Asset Management.

Magaziner faces a three-way Democratic primary with former treasurer Frank Caprio, who boasts strong name recognition, among other assets; and former state auditor Ernest Almonte, who has considerable expertise on financial matters.

In his announcement video, Magaziner offers a hint of his strategy. He says "Statehouse insiders" -- a not-so-subtle reference to his more politically experienced competitors -- can't be expected to get Rhode Island out of its persistent economic blues.

Magaziner's potential run first came into view back in May and he subsequently took steps to organize his campaign. With his contacts and experience in the financial sector, he could prove a good fundraiser.

[Update: Magaziner says he plans to take a leave from his investment job at the end of the year. He says he's unsure how much he's raised since organizing his campaign.

Magaziner also sidestepped a question about whether he expects Bill and/or Hillary Clinton to campaign for him in Rhode Island. "I'm really focused on earning the support of Rhode Islanders," he says. The idea of a Clinton visit "is not something that I'm focused on right now."]

Magaziner says if elected, he plans to use the treasurer's office to bolster entrepreneurs and small businesses; improve the state's infrastructure; support financial empowerment; and put more Rhode Islanders back to work. Watch for in-depth conversation with Magaziner later this week when he joins us on RIPR's Political Roundtable and Bonus Q+A, airing Friday during Morning Edition.

This post has been updated.