Angel Taveras

Ian Donnis / RIPR

The three major Democratic candidates for governor each say improving Rhode Island’s economy would be their top focus if they win election in November.

The trio squared off during a televised debate Tuesday sponsored by Channel 12 and the Providence Journal.

Clay Pell, Gina Raimondo, and Angel Taveras generally stuck with familiar themes during the hour-long debate. Pell said he’s the progressive candidate, Taveras called himself the candidate of working families, and Raimondo said the pension overhaul she spearheaded in 2011 shows her ability to get results.


The Providence mayoral campaign has featured more twists and turns than a Grand Prix auto race. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay on what’s next in the run for City Hall.

This we know about Providence politics: One person’s backroom deal is another person’s noble gesture.

That is what voters will decide in the September 9 Democratic primary, when the favorite, City Council president Michael Solomon, faces off against Jorge Elorza, a law professor and political neophyte. (Perennial fringe candidate Christopher Young is also in the mix).

In a move to fill the late-in-campaign departure of a key staffer, Angel Taveras' gubernatorial team has made a veteran of Rhode Island politics, Ani Haroian, its field director, RIPR has learned.

Haroian will take over the role left open by the exit of Whitney Larsen, for a job with the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) working on a high-profile US House race in Colorado.

Rhode Islanders of a certain age well remember the `Hi Neighbor, Have a `Gansett’ television advertising campaign  that pushed Narragansett Beer, which in days of yore was brewed in Cranston. Now Gina Raimondo is using an old timey Narragansett commercial to tout her campaign for governor.

The field director for Angel Taveras' gubernatorial campaign, Whitney Larsen, has left that job to work for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee on one of the nation's most high-profile US House races, RIPR has learned.

Larsen will working on the effort to help elect Democrat Andrew Romanoff, a former speaker of the Colorado House, in his challenge to Republican Representative Mike Coffman. Larsen did not respond to a request for comment.