Thanks for stopping by for my weekly column. Another busy political week looms ahead, so let's get into it. As always, feel free to drop me a line at idonnis (at) ripr (dot) org and to follow me all week long on the twitters.
Cumberland Mayor Daniel McKee on Wednesday launched his Democratic run for lieutenant governor. He's expected to square off during a primary next September with Secretary of State Ralph Mollis, who is prevented by term limits from seeking re-election.
Secretary of State Ralph Mollis joins Political Roundtable this week to discuss the partial federal government shutdown; his plans for 2014; whether Rhode Island really needs a lieutenant governor; and the Rolling Stone story on pension cuts.
Rhode Island voters can expect to decide next year whether to organize a constitutional convention. Voters are supposed to be asked that question once every 10 years.
The question of whether to stage a constitutional convention can be put on the ballot by either the General Assembly or the secretary of state. Secretary of State Ralph Mollis said if the legislature doesn’t pose the question for voters, he’ll put it on the ballot next year.
Secretary of State Ralph Mollis says he intends to run for lieutenant governor next year and plans to make a formal announcement this fall.
Rhode Island’s current lieutenant governor, Elizabeth Roberts, can’t seek re-election due to term limits. And Mollis can’t seek re-election as secretary of state for the same reason.
As lieutenant governor, Roberts has led the state’s push to create a health insurance exchange to comply with Obamacare. Yet some critics question whether the office serves a valuable purpose in Rhode Island. Mollis disagrees.
With more than a year until Rhode Island’s next statewide primary, a growing number of candidates are emerging for some key offices.
Nellie Gorbea is the latest candidate in a three-way Democratic field for secretary of state. She boasts two decades of public and private sector and experience, and was a high-ranking aide when Matt Brown served as secretary of state.
Gorbea joins two other Democrats in the race for that seat: Guillaume de Ramel, who ran for secretary of state in 2006, and Edwin Pacheo, a former state Democratic chairman.
Cumberland Mayor Daniel McKee, who has made little secret of his interest in running next year for lieutenant governor, has filed a notice of organization with the state Board of Elections to pursue that office.
State Senator Joshua Miller (D-Cranston) says he won't be a candidate for lieutenant governor next year.
"After careful consideration, I have decided I will not be a candidate for lieutenant governor in 2014," Miller tells RIPR. "I wanted to make my decision early, allowing individuals who encouraged me to have sufficient time to identify and support other candidates."