Allan Fung

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Jorge Elorza this afternoon will be inaugurated Providence’s mayor. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay parses the challenges the new mayor faces.

After impressive primary and general election  victories, law professor Elorza takes over the spacious second-floor office in the capital city’s Beaux-Arts City Hall. Since his election he has wisely reached out to the city’s warring political and ethnic tribes as he prepares to govern a 21st Century ancient New England port that had its beginnings in the 17th Century.

Rhode Island bade farewell and paid tribute today to former state Sen. Lila Sapinsley, a liberal Republican who became the first woman Senate Minority Leader, at funeral services at Temple Beth-El  in the Providence East Side district that she so ably represented.

Sapinsley, who died earlier this week at her Laurelmead home at 92, was eulogized by Rabbi Leslie Y. Gutterman as a path breaking woman of compassion, accomplishment and conviction.

RIPR FILE

Democrat Gina Raimondo outspent Republican rival Allan Fung by a more than 2-to-1 margin during the 2014 campaign. Raimondo will be sworn in as governor January 6th.

Raimondo spent more than five million dollars as part of her winning run for governor. She beat Fung on a 4-point margin in the November 4th election. Fung himself spent about $2 million during the campaign.  The two candidates have almost exhausted their accounts. Raimondo has just less than $50 thousand left in her war chest, while Fung has about $66 thousand.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Once again, Rhode Islanders have elected a governor with far less than a majority of the vote. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay wonders what we can do about this.

The boisterous cheers among delirious Democrats crammed into the Providence Biltmore’s 17th floor ballroom on election night have barely quieted. You can’t blame them for hoisting drinks and shouting themselves hoarse:  Gina Raimondo became the first woman to win election as Rhode Island's  governor and the only Democrat to capture the state’s highest elected office since 1992.

FILE / RIPR

Allan Fung said despite losing his bid for governor, he’s proud of the race he ran. Fung’s democratic rival Gina Raimondo won the race with just 40 percent of the vote. Fung said maybe it’s time for runoff elections.

"The moose was on the loose," is how Fung describes the 22 percent gleaned by Moderate Party candidate Bob Healey, referring to Healey’s days as the cool moose candidate.  Fung’s main opponent, Gina Raimondo, is the second consecutive governor elected with less than 50 percent of the vote.

John Bender / RIPR

Gina Raimondo spent her first day as governor-elect meeting with constituents on Federal Hill.  And she’s now focusing on transitioning into state’s highest office.

Raimondo won’t say who will be on her team as she moves forward, or who in the current administration will be let go.  Though she said she hopes the Chafee administration will hold off on major staffing decisions, such as the education commissioner’s post, so that she can have a say once she assumes office in January.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

At the Democratic victory party at the Providence Biltmore Hotel late last night, no one had a wider smile than Kate Coyne McCoy, the longtime advocate for electing women to political office in Rhode Island and around the nation.

``Twenty years ago, I was walking up the stairs to this room (the 17th floor ballroom, where media and pols meet on election night) with Myrth York,’’ recalled Coyne McCoy. ``It was an awful night.’’

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Gina Raimondo made history Tuesday night as the first woman to get elected as governor of Rhode Island. Raimondo is also the first Democrat to win the state’s top job in 22 years.

Raimondo beat Republican rival Allan Fung with unofficial numbers showing her with 40 percent to Fung’s 36 percent, with Moderate Party candidate Robert Healey drawing 22 percent of the vote.

Latest talk among Democratic operatives: Optimism about Elorza in Providence, worry about Raimondo in governor's race. If she loses there will be lots of second-guessing her general election campaign.

The Rhode Island gubernatorial election between Democrat Gina Raimondo and Republican Allan Fung has become much closer than anyone thought even a month ago. Raimondo’s lackluster general election campaign, which followed a very well done primary effort, is surely part of her problem.

It's almost all over but the crying. After years of run-up, Rhode Island's 2014 election is at hand. So thanks for stopping by, and feel free to drop me a line (idonnis (at) ripr (dot) org) and to follow me on the twitters. Here we go.

RIPR FILE

Why have political campaigns become so relentlessly negative? RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay says it reflects the cynicism of the times and the way political money is raised and spent.

Click the television remote as many times as you like but don’t expect to escape the nasty political spots running nonstop until the polls close tomorrow. Hike to the mailbox and you’re greeted by an avalanche of political flyers spreading dirt on one politician or another. Ditto for the Internet.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

During a Friday morning speech at Rhode Island College, President Obama touted economic improvements during his administration and called for enhanced efforts to help women at home and in the workplace. The president didn't mention Democratic gubernatorial candidate Gina Raimondo during his speech, although he did treat her to lunch afterward at the Gregg's restaurant on North Main Street in Providence.

Obama began with some Halloween-related humor and a recognition of Rhode Island's congressional delegation before pointing to a series of economic indicators:

RIPR FILE

Republican gubernatorial candidate Allan Fung and Democratic rival Gina Raimondo sharpened their tone toward one another during their final televised debate Thursday.

Raimondo criticized Fung for being too timid in raising the funding level of one of Cranston’s municipal pensions – from 16 to about 20 percent, she said.  Raimondo accused Fung of not making the city’s full payments into the pension system.

Ted Nesi from WPRI.com joins Scott MacKay, Maureen Moakley, and yours truly as we discuss the top two battles on Election Day: the races for governor and mayor of Providence.

John Bender / RIPR

When he visits Rhode Island Friday, President Barack Obama will speak about the improving national economy and the latest Gross Domestic Product data that was released today by the federal government.

Obama is scheduled to arrive at Green State Airport  this evening and stay overnight in Providence. While the White House is not disclosing where the president will stay, sources in Providence say it will be the Omni Hotel downtown, which is attached to the Rhode Island Convention Center.

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