2014 providence mayoral race

Services for the late Joe Vileno Jr., a quintessential Providence character and political activist, are scheduled for Tuesday evening at Nardollilo Funeral Home, 1278 Park Avenue, in Cranston. Calling hours are from 5 to 8 p.m. Committal and burial will be private.

Joe died earlier this week at age 76. He had a history of heart ailments and his family requests that donations in lieu of flowers be made to the American Heart Association.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Rhode Island has been a laggard in electing women to high office. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay  on why that may change on November 4.

By most measures, Rhode Island is one of America’s most liberal and deepest blue of the 50 states. Our Washington, D.C. delegation is all-Democratic and no Republican holds any statewide or federal elected office.

Independent Providence mayoral candidate Buddy Cianci joins Political Roundtable to discuss his latest run, as well as questions about troubles in his past administrations, pensions, and negotiating with city unions.

Buddy Cianci, independent candidate for mayor of Providence, joins Bonus Q+A to talk about his campaign and a variety of other issues.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

With more than a fifth of voters undecided, Buddy Cianci holds a six-point lead over Democrat Jorge Elorza in a new WPRI-TV/Providence Journal poll on the Providence mayoral race.

The poll shows 38 percent of voters backing Cianci, 32 percent preferring Elorza, and 6 percent supporting Republican Daniel Harrop. Twenty-one percent of voters are undecided -- a number showing that the race remains up for grabs between Cianci and Elorza.

Update: The Providence Teachers Union announced its endorsement of Buddy Cianci today. The unions representing firefighters and police have also endorsed Cianci. In once of those grand ironies that limn Rhode Island politics, the police union has endorsed a two-time felon over a judge, Jorge Elorza.

So it looks like Providence mayoral campaign politics reared its head in the negotiations between the union representing public school teachers and the administration of Mayor Angel  Taveras?

Democratic Providence mayoral candidate Jorge Elorza has won key endorsements from elected officials on the city's South Side: state Representatives Grace Diaz and Scott Slater; state Senator Juan Pichardo; and Ward 15 Councilor Sabina Matos.

Elorza won the September 9 primary, but he lost the South Side to Michael Solomon, who won four of the area's five wards.

Picking up support from some of Solomon's more visible supporters could help Elorza as he battles with Buddy Cianci for South Side votes.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Providence Mayoral candidate Buddy Cianci on Monday outlined a neighborhood improvement plan with particular emphasis on Broad and Public streets -- key thoroughfares in the respective Latino and black communities where he needs to pick up votes.

Cianci said his internal polling shows him with strong support among blacks and Latinos, and he said his initiative is not about gaining votes.

With more than a hint of fall in the air, the general election candidates are driving toward the finish line. So sit back, take a read of my weekly notes, feel free to drop me a line at idonnis (at) ripr (dot) org, and take a gander at the twitters. Here we go.

Ambar Espinoza / RIPR

The Providence mayoral campaign, aka the Buddy Cianci redemption effort, is drawing national media attention. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay talks about the paths to victory for independent Cianci and Democrat Jorge Elorza.

Cianci, Elorza and Republican Dan Harrop faced off in their first campaign debate last week at Laurelmead, an East Side elderly housing complex. There was more heat than light as Elorza, a former city Housing Court judge, and Harrop, a psychiatrist, attacked Cianci’s record as one of New England’s infamously corrupt politicians.

Here's the almost complete audio of the September 17 debate at the Laurelmead retirement home on the East Side between Buddy Cianci, Jorge Elorza, and Daniel Harrop.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

In a sign of how Rhode Island's Democratic establishment is closing ranks around Jorge Elorza as he competes with Buddy Cianci to be the next mayor of Providence, Senators Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse and Representatives David Cicilline and Jim Langevin are hosting an October 2 fundraiser for Elorza at the Providence Marriott on Orms Street.

Did Rhode Island's primary election on Tuesday reflect a repudiation of the status quo or a reinforcement of political norms? A fair bit of each, as it turns out, dear reader. So consider the evidence presented below, feel free to drop me a line at idonnis (at) ripr (dot) org, and stay tuned on the twitters for more of my dispatches as we move toward November 4. 

Ian Donnis / RINPR

Buddy Cianci calls himself the best qualified person to be the next mayor of Providence, and says he's not concerned about Rhode Island Democrats lining up behind his chief rival in the November 4 election, Jorge Elorza.

Cianci made the statement Wednesday at a news conference kicking off his general election campaign.


Every election has winners and losers. Yesterday’s Rhode Island primaries fit that mold on steroids.

On the Republican side, Cranston Mayor Allan Fung forged a comfortable win over Ken Block, the angry Barrington businessman. The GOP primary voters favored a mayor who had a record against an outsider who promised little more than putting the bully in Bully Pulpit and campaigned as if being governor was all about arousing public opinion to fight the Statehouse establishment.