Clay Pell

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Democratic gubernatorial candidate Gina Raimondo started fleshing out her vision for Rhode Island as she formally announced her campaign Monday morning.

Raimondo emphasized the economy, laying out ideas that include writing off some college loans to encourage grads to stay in Rhode Island, creating a funding formula for road and bridge improvements, and establishing an institute to foster growth-sector jobs.

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Governor Lincoln Chafee says he still hasn’t decided which candidate to support in this year’s gubernatorial race but he’s decided one thing.  Chafee, a Republican-turned independent-turned Democrat, said there’s no way he would endorse a Republican.

"I’m a democrat and I’m a very proud member of the democratic party now. It’s been an evolution, as you know. And I’m proud to become a democrat and stand up for the values of building the middle class and closing the disparity of wealth that exists in this country and that’s what I care about," said Chafee.

Ian Donnis/File Photo / RIPR

House Minority Leader Brian Newberry (R-North Smithfield) joins Political Roundtable this week to discuss the possible fate in the General Assembly of the 2011 pension overhaul; continued fallout from the failure of 38 Studios; and the intensifying race for governor.

Your faithful correspondent is breaking from TGIF's usual format this week to gaze ahead into 2014. Thanks for stopping by and feel free to follow me on the twitters. Here we go.

File photo / RIPR

The Political Roundtable crew looks back at the top political stories of the year, including the race governor; the implementation of Obamacare in Rhode Island; the Ocean State's persistently high unemployment; and the emerging legacy of Lincoln Chafee.

Veteran Democratic fundraiser Amy Gabarra is assisting Clay Pell's exploratory committee to raise money, in the latest sign that Pell may pursue a run for governor in 2014.

Gabarra helped Democratic gubernatorial candidate Frank Caprio to assemble the largest war chest in the 2010 race for governor. She's also worked for David Cicilline, Lincoln Chafee and Bill Lynch, among others.

The year ended as 2013 began: with Rhode Island's political/media class fixated on the looming race for governor in 2014. At least we're a bit closer now. With that in mind, welcome back to my weekly column. Your tips and thoughts are always welcome at idonnis (at) ripr (dot) org, and your cordially invited to follow me on the twitters. Let's get to it.

State General Treasurer Gina Raimondo -- who developed a national profile after spearheading a significant overhaul of Rhode Island's pension system in 2011 -- announced in a four-and-a-half-minute video emailed to supporters today that she is indeed running to become governor next year.

Rhode Island is the gift that keeps giving -- as the saying goes -- and 2013 was chock full of news. Who knows what the next day could bring? With a few weeks still left to go in December, on the way to a big news year, here's a rundown on the most-read posts this year on our politics blog.

10. The Providence Journal continued to bleed readers.

9. Scott MacKay's analysis of Governor Lincoln Chafee's decision not to seek re-election.

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Prospective Democratic gubernatorial candidate Clay Pell is hiring Devin "Short Pants" Driscoll, a veteran of Rhode Island political campaigns, to coordinate his exploratory process.

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Money isn’t everything in political campaigns. Yet, it is a lot of things, explains RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay who ponders the role of campaign cash in the 2014 RI Democratic gubernatorial primary.

Jesse Unruh, speaker of the California Assembly, coined the term back in 1966. ``Money,’’ said Unruh. ``is the mother’s milk of politics.’’

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Just when we thought we knew that next year’s Democratic gubernatorial primary field was set, it suddenly was not. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay talks about the Clay Pell factor.

Herbert Claiborne `Clay’ Pell  IV is a scion of a storied Rhode Island political family. He’s the grandson of U.S. Sen. Claiborne Pell, a quirky, even eccentric politician who nonetheless never lost an election in six terms, despite facing the toughest opponents our small state could muster.

Just when we thought we knew that next year’s Democratic gubernatorial primary field was set, it suddenly was not. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay talks about the Clay Pell factor.

Herbert Claiborne `Clay’ Pell  IV is a scion of a storied Rhode Island political family. He’s the grandson of U.S. Sen. Claiborne Pell, a quirky, even eccentric politician who nonetheless never lost an election in six terms, despite facing the toughest opponents our small state could muster.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Rhode Island Monthly political columnist Ellen Liberman joins us this week to talk about the 2014 race for governor; Clay Pell's organization of a campaign; Jorge Elorza's formal launch of his mayoral campaign; and the 50th anniversary of the death of President John F. Kennedy.

Providence Mayor Angel Taveras, who announced his Democratic run for governor last month, remains the best-liked politician in Rhode Island, according to a newly released WPRI-TV/Providence Journal poll.

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