Democratic businessman and lobbyist Brett Smiley formally launched his Providence mayoral campaign Tuesday morning, vowing to make Rhode Island's capital city a more equitable place. He also called for a supplemental tax on statewide gun and ammunition sales to fund expanded anti-violence efforts.
Speaking before an enthusiastic group of supporters at the Mount Hope Community Center on Camp Street, Smiley touted his progressive credentials while pledging progress in creating jobs and improving schools.
Providence Mayor Angel Taveras is scheduled on Monday to become the first Democrat to formally announce his candidacy for his party’s 2014 gubernatorial nomination. The 43-year-old Harvard-educated lawyer’s State House ambitions have been one of Rhode Island’s worst-kept secrets.
Taveras, who would be the state’s first governor of Latino ancestry, will make his announcement at 10 a.m. at Meeting Street School. He will speak to a relatively small gathering of family, friends, elected officials who support him and reporters, then take questions from members of the media.
Democrat Brett Smiley, who hopes to win the endorsement of Congressman David Cicilline for his 2014 Providence mayoral campaign, says the fiscal problems inherited by Angel Taveras in early 2011 are mostly due to state cuts in local aid under former Republican governor Don Carcieri.
Central Falls educator Victor Capellan has folded the tent on his 2014 Providence mayoral run, leaving Jorge Elorza as the lone Latino candidate in the race.
Capellan, a longtime political activist, says Elorza didn't encourage him to leave the campaign. Yet it's clear that the departure, coming on the heels of Ward 15 Councilwoman Sabina Matos' decision last week to seek re-election, accrues to Elorza's benefit.