In the latest setback for the state Economic Development Corporation, Governor Lincoln Chafee's choice to lead the agency, William J. Parsons, has asked that his nomination we withdrawn due to a " recent serious health issue." Chafee has accepted the request by Parson, whose tenure with the EDC goes almost to the agency's inception.

Via news release:

Ken McKay, who ran two winning campaigns for former GOP governor Don Carcieri and served as Carcieri's chief of staff for part of his two terms, is headed to a new role as political director of the Republican Governors Association.

The story was first reported Wednesday by Politico:

Stephen Hourahan, a top adviser to Governor Lincoln Chafee, is leaving the administration for a job as chief advancement officer with Family Service of Rhode Island.

Via news release:

Hourahan left Family Service in 2009 to join the successful Chafee for Governor campaign. He also served as Communications Director for then-Senator Lincoln Chafee and in a variety of positions for the late Senator John Chafee.

Xaykham “Xay” Khamsyvoravong, who managed Frank Caprio’s 2010 gubernatorial campaign and then left Rhode Island to pursue other opportunities, has a new gig: vice president for government and institutional banking at Providence-based Webster Bank.

Via news release:

UPDATE: Former state Democratic chairman Bill Lynch, who gave up the post in 2010, says he said “no” after being asked recently if he might be interested in returning as chair “It doesn’t fit professionally with what I am doing right now,” says Lynch, a lawyer at Adler Pollock & Sheehan.


With state Democratic Party chairman Edwin Pacheco mulling a run for secretary of state in 2014, party insiders are already talking succession.

Susan Pedgen, best known as the press secretary for Charles Fogarty during his two terms as lieutenant governor, has gotten the nod to become chief legal counsel for House Speaker Gordon Fox. She’s slated to start $121,308 job next Monday, December 3.

Pegden will be the first woman to be chief legal counsel for a speaker, according to Fox spokesman Larry Berman. As a resident of Hope Street, she is also a constituent of the speaker.

Via news release: 

Peter Kerwin, who was fired earlier this year from a job as program director for the Rhode Island Higher Education Assistance Authority, says the state Personnel Appeals Board voted yesterday not to take up his case.

Joseph R. Palumbo, the lawyer for the RIHEAA, couldn’t be reached for comment.

Kerwin says he found the Personnel Appeals Board’s decision curious since, he says, lawyers from both sides were asked during an October 9 meeting to schedule four additional dates in November to discuss the case.

It’s time for the second rendition of my new Friday column. Thanks for reading, and as always, feel free to send me tips or thoughts at idonnis (at) ripr (dot) org.

Welcome to TGIF, my new Friday column. As always, feel free to send your tips and thoughts to idonnis (at) ripr (dot) org.

After years of building his political credentials, West Warwick native Paul Tencher is at the center of one of the nation’s closest, hardest-fought US Senate races — the Indiana fight between Democrat Joe Donnelly and Republican Richard Mourdock.

Kudos + congrats to friend of the blog Ted Widmer, who is taking on two new roles (via the BDH):

Longtime activist Kate Coyne-McCoy, who ran unsucessfully for the open CD2 seat in 2000, has opened her own political consulting firm, Campaign Fixer.

Coyne-McCoy writes that beyond serving local, state and federal candidates:

Campaign Fixer also provides strategic assistance and technical expertise to not for profit boards and organizations working to change the world through progressive action.  My last day at the Coalition for Accountability in Political Spending will be August 31, 2012.

The Rhode Island Democratic Party has bolstering its communications for the 2012 campaign season by hiring Bill Fischer, an experienced PR professional with a long resume in politics.

Fischer currently runs True North Communications. He worked for the state Senate in the late ’90s before serving as chief of staff during Sheldon Whitehouse’s tenure as attorney general.

Matt Jerzyk, drector of policy, municipal affairs and senior counsel to Providence Mayor Angel Taveras, has accepted an assignment as deputy city solicitor, RIPR has learned.

Tony Simon, deputy state director for US Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, is leaving that position to run the freshman senator’s re-election campaign, RIPR has learned.