Rhode Island's next governor - whether it's Republican Allan Fung or Democrat Gina Raimondo - will have plenty of challenges to tackle upon taking office. The state's ailing economy will most likely hold the spotlight over the next eight weeks until the general election. But perhaps I could put a few health care items on the agenda for their consideration - and for the general assembly's.
Republican gubernatorial candidates Ken Block and Allan Fung traded barbs Monday about which of them is the best choice for governor. It happened at new conference Block held near Cranston City Hall.
Block held his press conference inside a Cranston diner, about a block from City Hall, as a reminder of how Fung taped a jobs-related campaign ad in an Ohio diner. He criticized Fung for raising taxes early in his administration, and Block also rapped Fung for his oversight of Cranston’s police department.
The Democratic candidates running for governor took part in a special, live edition of The Political Roundtable. Todd Giroux, Clay Pell, Gina Raimondo and Angel Taveras answered questions from our moderators and asked each other questions.
You can hear the program in its three segments here:
A senate committee will vote Wednesday on legislation that would ultimately put the governor and lieutenant governor on a joint ticket. The bill co-sponsored by Senate President Teresa Paiva Weed would let voters decide on a constitutional amendment linking the two top offices.
Paiva Weed said previous lieutenant governors have had to define their own roles, while this legislation would make them an assistant to the governor.
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.
The four Democrats running for governor mostly agreed with one another on a host of issues during a forum Monday sponsored by a liberal think tank, the Economic Progress Institute. The issues included jobs, safety net programs, and taxes.
Gov. Lincoln Chafee has selected the artist who will paint his official portrait. The Rhode Island artist beat out 123 others in the national search.
Julie Gearan said there was something about the fact that she’s not a traditional portrait painter combined with Chafee not being a traditional politician that drew her to apply for the job of painting his official portrait.
Democratic gubernatorial candidate Gina Raimondo says Rhode Island needs to do a better job of developing tourism as a spark plug for the economy. Raimondo unveiled a tourism plan Wednesday morning as part of her campaign for the state’s top job.
Todd Giroux officially announced Tuesday that he’s running for governor. Giroux declared he’d run as a democrat back in October.
Giroux is a 43-year-old Woonsocket native. He’s a general contractor who specializes in historic preservation. He ran for governor in 2010 as an independent.
Giroux said he’ll be a governor who listens and responds. “We need a governor that has a steady hand on the rudder of this state,” he said. “And if we provide a commerce fund, an infrastructure fund then we have the tools that support the jobs plan.”
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.