In a move to strengthen support beyond his East Side base, Providence mayoral candidate Brett Smiley unveiled an endorsement Wednesday by state Representative Ray Hull (D-Providence), a 28-year Providence police officer who lives in the same ward as rival candidate Michael Solomon and was formerly a driver for Buddy Cianci.
During a news conference at his home in the city's Mount Pleasant section, Hull said he decided to back Smiley over the two other leading Democrats, Solomon and Jorge Elorza, because of the East Sider's public safety plan.
House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello emerged in March with a strong hold on what is commonly called the state's most powerful political office. Following the unveiling of a probe of former speaker Gordon Fox, Mattiello won a brief succession fight and pledged a stronger focus on jobs and the economy. Mattiello sat down last week to discuss his first few months as speaker and some of the top issues facing the state, including his choice for governor and Buddy Cianci's latest comeback attempt.
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House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello says he considers Buddy Cianci "a great guy," but the speaker isn't taking sides in the debate about whether Cianci's latest comeback attempt is good or bad for Rhode Island's reputation.
"I'll leave that to the citizens of the City of Providence to make that determination," Mattiello said during a Statehouse interview Tuesday afternoon.
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Heeeee’s back: Vincent A. `Buddy’ Cianci Jr., made official this afternoon what he has been talking about for months, that he will try for a Lazarus-like, unprecedented third comeback as Providence mayor, this time as an independent.
After claiming not to have his mind made up before taking to the airwaves for his afternoon talk show, 73-year-old Vincent A. "Buddy" Cianci Jr. revealed Wednesday he's staging an improbable comeback to become the next mayor of Providence.
Cianci is running as an independent -- the same approach he used during his 1990 return to power -- in a close three-way race, after having first won office in 1974 as a Republican.
He puffed on the Monte Cristo in his right hand, sipped Cognac with his left and regaled a table of cronies and hangers-on with jokes and florid commentary.
It was vintage Buddy Cianci, perched at an outdoor table on a balmy evening at the Capital Grille late last Tuesday night, entertaining the crowd long after the thick sirloins and fancy wines had been devoured.