Clay Pell

The Democratic primary election for governor is shaping up as a close contest between Providence Mayor Angel Taveras and General Treasurer Gina Raimondo.

The early Channel 12/ProJo public opinion surveys conducted by veteran Rhode Island pollster Joe Fleming show this to be the case.  Now comes last night’s endorsement confab held at the Crowne Plaza in Warwick by the R.I. Association of Democratic City and  Town Chairs, which failed to reach consensus on an endorsement for governor.

A variety of speakers from across the Rhode Island political spectrum will hold a Statehouse rally this afternoon to urge the General Assembly to oppose paying off the 38 Studios bonds.

Among those speaking are Larry Girouard of the R.I. Taxpayers group, spokes people from the R.I. Libertarian Party, the R.I. Green Party and Occupy Providence, the local offshoot of the Occupy Wall Street movement.

The leading Democratic candidates for governor used a partisan event Tuesday to describe themselves as the best choice to help struggling Rhode Islanders. A little more than three months remains until the primary election on September 9.

Candidates for state and federal offices spoke to the Democratic state committee, which will decide party endorsements next month. Gubernatorial candidate Gina Raimondo used the occasion to preview her first TV commercial. It pays homage to her father, Joseph, who died at age 87 earlier this month.

RIPR FILE

As expected, Democratic gubernatorial candidate Gina Raimondo is launching the television advertising portion of her deep-pocketed campaign by starting with a personal focus -- in this case, her father, Joseph, who died at age 87 earlier this month.

Pell Unveils State Infrastructure Plan

May 23, 2014

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Clay Pell says the infrastructure in Rhode Island is failing, and he wants to spend at least $200 million to fix it.

Pell released his transportation and infrastructure plan Thursday using the Providence train station as his backdrop.  Pell says the station is a good example of a transportation hub in need of repairs.  If elected, Pell says he would include a bond referendum in 2016 and 2018 to create a $200 million program to improve bridges, roads and highways.

He says other projects could be paid for with federal funding.

Taveras Unveils Plan For State's Tourism Industry

May 20, 2014
RIPR FILE

Providence mayor and Democratic gubernatorial hopeful Angel Taveras unveiled his plan for the state’s tourism industry.

Taveras says he plans to spend five million dollars a year to the industry for a total of twenty-million dollars over a four year term to promote the state. Taveras says the plan would create about 2600 new jobs in the state, helping the floundering economy.  Rhode Island’s unemployment remains the nation’s highest at more than eight percent.

U.S. Sen. Jack Reed D-R.I., made official this morning what everyone in Rhode Island’s political circuit  assumed: That he is a candidate for reelection to a fourth six-year term in the Senate.

Reed’s announcement came before a crowd of 1,000 of his supporters at the senator’s 25th annual May Breakfast at Rhodes-on-the- Pawtuxet in his home city of Cranston.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Providence Ward 14 City Councilor David Salvatore, chairman of the council's Ways and Means Committee, joins Political Roundtable to discuss the emergence of Providence's finances as a campaign issue; the impact of a "People's Pledge" in the Democratic primary; the soaring cost of growing state Medicaid enrollment; and the possible effect of eliminating the master lever.

Ian Donnis/File Photo / RIPR

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Clay Pell says the top goals of his education plan include cutting the high school dropout rate and relieving debt for college students.

Pell outlined his vision Wednesday as children played outside the Agnes Hennessey elementary school in  East Providence.

A so-called “people’s pledge” has been hammered out and agreed to by the three leading democratic candidates running for governor. The goal is to limit outside spending.

To limit that outside spending, Clay Pell, Gina Raimondo, and Angel Taveras have agreed to a pledge calling for any candidate who benefits from an ad bought by an outside group to make a charitable donation for the same amount of the ad buy.

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Angel Taveras recorded his best fundraising performance yet by collecting more than $500,000 in the first quarter of 2014, although rival Democrat Gina Raimondo bested that by taking in more than $1.1 million, their campaigns said Thursday.

Taveras' communications director, Dawn Bergantino, said more than three-quarters of Taveras' take for the quarter "came from within Rhode Island."

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Clay Pell unveiled Wednesday his plan for improving Rhode Island’s economy, as part of the first in what he said will be a series of forthcoming policy initiatives.

In broad strokes, Pell said if elected governor he would focus on improving the state's public schools, strengthening infrastructure, and leveraging Rhode Island's assets.

Discover Newport

The life of Nuala Pell, widow of Sen. Claiborne Pell, was celebrated Monday morning with wit, tradition and family love and devotion in services at Trinity Episcopal Church in Newport, the city she loved and where she died last week at age 89.

Flo Jonic / RIPR

Nuala Pell, widow of revered Sen. Claiborne Pell, confidante of Pastores, Kennedys and European royalty, a force in Rhode Island politics for decades and a woman who was as at ease at a Democratic Party rally at a Portuguese Club as she was with the well-born swells of Newport society at Bailey’s Beach, died early this morning at Newport Hospital. She was 89.

The Pell family has announced a memorial service to be held Monday, April 21 at Trinity Episcopal Church in Newport, at 11 a.m.

The race to pick Rhode Island's next governor is still up for grabs.

A new Brown University poll shows Democratic gubernatorial candidates Angel Taveras and Gina Raimondo locked in a virtual dead heat, with Clay Pell lagging behind in the race. The poll (albeit from a tiny sample size of 86 somewhat or very likely GOP voters) shows a similar scenario with Republicans Ken Block and Allan Fung.

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