Zurier Announces Decision Not To Seek Re-Election to Providence City Council

May 7, 2018

Credit Ian Donnis/File Photo

Ward 2 Providence City Councilor Sam Zurier used his weekly note to constituents to announce he won't be seeking re-election this year.

Zurier, who was first elected in 2010, said he based his decision on an assessment of "the current state of the city, the work I believe City Hall needs to carry out, and my own skills and limitations."

"I also considered the competing values of change and continuity," Zurier wrote. "I see value in change. Over the past seven years, I have worked to advance the policies and priorities I presented as a candidate, and/or adopted while in office. On the other hand, I have not worked on other projects or issues because of the choices I made, and the priorities I hold. My predecessors in office adopted different portfolios from mine, and many of you may prefer a change in priorities at this time.

Zurier represents the most affluent parts of Providence -- College Hill, Blackstone and Wayland.

A graduate of Classical High School, Yale University and Yale Law School, Zurier has been known for his advocacy on issues like public education and the city's sorely underfunded pension system.

Zurier succeeded Cliff Wood, now executive director of the Providence Foundation, after initially winning office in 2010.

The lawyer and former Rhodes Scholar said he’s making the announcement now to allow time for new candidates to emerge ahead of the filing deadline from June 25-27.

With Ward 13 Councilor Bryan Principe, Zurier is the second member of the 15-member council to announce he's not seeking re-election.

Some observers of Providence politics believe Zurier had tired of clashing with Finance Committee Chairman John Igliozzi.

But Zurier pointed to how term limits approved by Providence voters in 2006 are expected to cause a lot of turnover on the council elected in 2022.

"Under these conditions, it may be beneficial for our Ward (and for the City as a whole) to have a new City Council representative in place next January who is not subject to term limits in 2022, as I would be if you re-elected me to a third term this fall," he wrote.