Ted Nesi

Mayor-elect Elorza names transition team

November 10th, 2014 at 12:48 pm by under Nesi's Notes

By Dan McGowan

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Providence Mayor-elect Jorge Elorza on Monday appointed three influential city residents to co-chair his transition team, as he prepares to succeed incumbent Mayor Angel Taveras in January.

Elorza said his team will include Bank of America vice president Lisa Ranglin, education reformer Victor Capellan and Sally Lapides, the president and chief executive officer of Residential Properties Ltd. Marisa O’Gara, who served as Elorza’s campaign manager, will be Elorza’s spokesperson.

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Watch Newsmakers: Election 2014 political roundtable

November 9th, 2014 at 5:00 am by under Nesi's Notes


The Saturday Morning Post: Quick hits on politics & more in RI

November 8th, 2014 at 5:00 am by under Nesi's Notes, On the Main Site, The Saturday Morning Post

Click here to read this week’s Saturday Morning Post on the new WPRI.com website »


How Jorge Elorza beat Buddy Cianci to become Providence mayor

November 7th, 2014 at 1:59 pm by under Nesi's Notes

By Dan McGowan

While a 5,200-vote blowout of Cianci on the East Side would bring Elorza near the end zone Tuesday, his campaign says it was the effort in others parts of the city that pushed them over the goal line, from doubling their primary vote tally in Ward 4 near Charles Street to breaking even at the Parenti Villa and Dominica Manor high-rises on Federal Hill and then running close on the South Side.

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RI Democrats’ 2014 victory was most sweeping since 1960

November 7th, 2014 at 5:00 am by under Nesi's Notes, On the Main Site

Projo_JFK_1960_RI_SOSJust how sweeping was Rhode Island Democrats’ election victory on Tuesday night? As it turns out, it was their biggest set of wins since the year John F. Kennedy was elected president.

On Tuesday, for the first time since 1960, Rhode Island Democrats managed to win all nine major offices on the ballot: governor, lieutenant governor, secretary of state, attorney general, general treasurer, U.S. senator, 1st District congressman, 2nd District congressman, and Providence mayor, according to a WPRI.com review of past election results.

Democrats have had big years before – Republicans won no federal races in 2012, 2008, 2004 or 1996, for example – but it’s been 54 years since the party won all nine of those top offices in a single November election.

(more…)


Raimondo names three to chair her transition team

November 6th, 2014 at 3:39 pm by under Nesi's Notes

By Ted Nesi

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Democratic Gov.-elect Gina Raimondo on Thursday announced the appointment of three prominent Rhode Islanders to serve as co-chairs of her transition team, as she prepares to succeed Gov. Lincoln Chafee in January.

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After losing mayor’s race, Cianci returns to radio

November 6th, 2014 at 2:16 am by under Nesi's Notes

By Dan McGowan

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Buddy’s back.

A day after losing what was likely his final race for political office, Vincent A. “Buddy” Cianci Jr. made his return to the airwaves Wednesday, thanking listeners for their support and declaring that he was not sorry for taking one “last shot” at running for mayor of Providence.

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Write-in candidate for Providence City Council falls just short of upset

November 6th, 2014 at 1:07 am by under Nesi's Notes

By Dan McGowan

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – The longest-serving member of the Providence City Council breathed a sigh of relief Wednesday as he apparently fended off an extraordinary write-in challenge to save his seat.

After absentee ballots were counted, Ward 3 City Councilman Kevin Jackson, a Democrat, led write-in opponent Marcus Mitchell by 48 votes. Jackson went to bed Tuesday trailing the write-in opponent – although not every voter wrote in Mitchell’s name – but he more than made up the difference once mail ballots were factored in.

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Mail ballot numbers pad Gina Raimondo’s victory

November 5th, 2014 at 11:01 pm by under Nesi's Notes, On the Main Site

Democrat Gina Raimondo won the governor’s race by a slightly wider margin than first thought.

The R.I. Board of Elections updated its count on Wednesday to include the results from roughly 15,000 voters who used mail ballots. Those mail ballots increased Raimondo’s total number of votes to 131,452, a jump of about 8,000 from the preliminary results.

Republican Allan Fung’s total votes rose to 117,106 and Moderate Bob Healey’s rose to 69,070 with mail ballots included. Raimondo received more than half the votes for governor cast by mail ballot. Fung received about 2,000 more votes than John Robitaille did in 2010, a 2% increase. Robitaille was running in a four-way against a former Republican U.S. senator (Lincoln Chafee) and two other candidates with moderate policy priorities (Frank Caprio and Ken Block).

The results in the governor’s race now round to Raimondo 41%, Fung 36% and Healey 21%.

Overall Raimondo defeated Fung by a decisive 4.5 percentage points, or more than 14,000 votes, the biggest vote margin in a governor’s race since Don Carcieri’s first election in 2002.

Raimondo’s victory was entirely thanks to the city of Providence, which she took by a plurality of about 16,000 votes; in Rhode Island’s other 38 cities and towns, Fung beat her by nearly 2,000 votes combined. Turnout in Providence was higher than four years ago as voters decided the high-profile mayoral race.

Raimondo won with more votes than Lincoln Chafee, who received 123,571 in 2010. Excluding Chafee, however, Raimondo received the smallest number of votes for a victorious gubernatorial candidate in Rhode Island since 1930, when Republican Norman Case won with 112,070, historical records show.

Here are the margins in all the big races with mail ballots included:

  • Governor: Raimondo 41%, Fung 36%, Healey 21%
  • Providence Mayor: Elorza 52%, Cianci 45%, Harrop 3%
  • Lt. Governor: McKee 54%, Taylor 34%, Gilbert 8%, Jones 3%
  • Secretary of State: Gorbea 60%, Carlevale 39%
  • Attorney General: Kilmartin 57%, Hodgson 43%
  • General Treasurer: Magaziner 57%, Almonte 43%
  • U.S. Senate: Reed 71%, Zaccaria 29%
  • 1st District: Cicilline 60%, Lynch 40%
  • 2nd District: Langevin 62%, Reis 38%

In Cranston, despite the presence of the city’s mayor on the ballot, turnout this year was the lowest in the past four gubernatorial elections, with only 26,935 ballots cast for governor there. Fung won Cranston with 14,820 votes or 55% of the total, above Lincoln Chafee’s 9,499 (35%) in 2010 but lower than Don Carcieri’s 16,938 (52%) in 2006 or Carcieri’s 16,959 (58%) in 2002.

Eight Rhode Island communities have voted Republican in the last four gubernatorial elections: Coventry, Exeter, Foster, Hopkinton, Lincoln, Narragansett, Richmond and Scituate.

Only one community voted Democratic for governor all four times: Central Falls. Three others voted in 2010 for Lincoln Chafee (then an independent, now a Democrat) and for Democrats the other three times: East Providence, Pawtucket and Providence.

Ted Nesi ( tnesi@wpri.com ) covers politics and the economy for WPRI.com and writes the Nesi’s Notes blog. Follow him on Twitter: @tednesi

This post has been updated and expanded.


Bob Healey spent $0.0005 for every vote he got

November 5th, 2014 at 5:36 pm by under Nesi's Notes

By Ted Nesi

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Moderate Party gubernatorial nominee Bob Healey may have set a new record when it comes to how little money a candidate has to spend to win piles of votes.

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Big East Side victory helped Elorza beat Buddy Cianci

November 5th, 2014 at 9:37 am by under Nesi's Notes

By Dan McGowan

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – The East Side has spoken. Democrat Jorge Elorza will be the next mayor of the city of Providence.

Elorza won a convincing victory over independent former Mayor Vincent A. “Buddy” Cianci Jr. Tuesday, riding a tidal wave of support to capture every precinct from Fox Point to the Pawtucket line on the vote-rich East Side. Republican Daniel Harrop, who said he was voting for Elorza, placed third.

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Analysis: 18 takeaways from the 2014 election in RI

November 5th, 2014 at 3:25 am by under Nesi's Notes

By Ted Nesi

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Gina Raimondo will be the next governor of Rhode Island and Jorge Elorza will be the next mayor of Providence.

Those are the big headlines from Tuesday’s election in Rhode Island. Here are 18 other takeaways from the election, what it means for the state and what it tells us about local politics going forward.

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Republicans pick up seats in RI General Assembly

November 5th, 2014 at 1:10 am by under Nesi's Notes

By Ted Nesi

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – On an otherwise tough night for local Republicans, the party could find a silver lining in the results for Rhode Island House elections, as six incumbent House Democrats went down to defeat.

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WPRI.com Live Blog: Election Night 2014 Coverage

November 4th, 2014 at 4:45 pm by under Nesi's Notes

Click here to read our Election Night 2014 live blog on the new WPRI.com website »


Marathon campaign for Providence mayor ends today

November 4th, 2014 at 4:46 am by under Nesi's Notes

By Dan McGowan

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – If you think the race for Providence mayor started when Buddy Cianci launched his campaign in June, think again.

Tuesday’s election marks the end of a marathon campaign that began in 2012, when incumbent Mayor Angel Taveras started preparing his bid for governor, and quietly built up steam over the next two years as the longshots formed alliances with the frontrunners and everyone kept one eye on Cianci.

Now it’s down to Cianci, Democrat Jorge Elorza and Republican Daniel Harrop, although Harrop confirmed Monday he intends to vote for Elorza in an attempt to “do all I can to stop Mr. Cianci” from winning the race.

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RI, Mass. voters head to polls to choose new govs

November 4th, 2014 at 12:01 am by under Nesi's Notes

By Ted Nesi and WPRI.com Staff

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Voters in Rhode Island and Massachusetts are heading to the polls Tuesday to choose new governors, elect lawmakers, decide on ballot questions and make dozens of other big decisions about their states’ futures.

The last time the two states held an election for governor – back in 2010 – roughly 340,000 voters went to the polls in Rhode Island and about 2.3 million did so in Massachusetts. It remains to be seen how turnout in this year’s election will compare with four years ago.

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GOP’s Harrop: I’m voting for Elorza in mayor’s race

November 3rd, 2014 at 7:38 pm by under Nesi's Notes

By Dan McGowan

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – It has been 36 years since Providence last elected a Republican mayor. On Tuesday, even the GOP nominee for the city’s top job intends to vote Democrat.

Republican mayoral candidate Dr. Daniel Harrop confirmed Monday he will vote for Democrat Jorge Elorza as his final contribution to the campaign to block former Mayor Vincent A. “Buddy” Cianci Jr. from winning back his old job.

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Cranston will have to elect a new mayor if Fung wins

November 3rd, 2014 at 6:01 pm by under Nesi's Notes

By Ted Nesi

CRANSTON, R.I. (WPRI) – Voters in Rhode Island’s third-largest city could be heading to the polls on a regular basis next year depending on the outcome of Tuesday’s election.

If Allan Fung defeats Gina Raimondo, Cranston will soon be left without a mayor once the Republican leaves City Hall to become governor. That would trigger a special election early next year in the city of 80,566 to replace Fung, according to Steven Sepe, Cranston’s city registrar.

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Still undecided? Watch our Campaign 2014 debates here

November 3rd, 2014 at 5:18 pm by under Nesi's Notes

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Tuesday is Election Day in Rhode Island, but if you still aren’t sure who you want to vote for, WPRI.com has you covered.

Click here to watch our Campaign 2014 debates on WPRI.com »


Watch Executive Suite: RI ballot questions; background checks

November 3rd, 2014 at 5:00 am by under Nesi's Notes


Watch Newsmakers: Lt. Governor Debate – McKee vs. Taylor

November 2nd, 2014 at 5:00 am by under Nesi's Notes


The Saturday Morning Post: Quick hits on politics & more in RI

November 1st, 2014 at 5:00 am by under Nesi's Notes, On the Main Site, The Saturday Morning Post

Click here to read this week’s Saturday Morning Post on the new WPRI.com website »


McKee, Taylor tout experience in lt. governor debate

October 31st, 2014 at 6:00 pm by under Nesi's Notes

By Dan McGowan

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – With just days left before Election Day, the two leading candidates for lieutenant governor touted their experience Friday as they made a final pitch to voters during their final televised debate.

Democrat Dan McKee and Republican Catherine Taylor largely agreed on ways to improve an office that has long been criticized for having little constitutional authority other than being first in line to take over if the governor is unable to complete his or her term.

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• Watch: Newsmakers Lt. Governor Debate: Catherine Taylor vs. Dan McKee (Oct. 31)


Race for RI gov now a ‘toss up,’ top forecaster says

October 31st, 2014 at 3:48 pm by under Nesi's Notes

By Ted Nesi

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – One of Washington’s top election prognosticators is upgrading Republican Allan Fung’s chances of winning the race for Rhode Island governor next week.

Separately, the Democratic Governors Association disclosed it has now spent $755,000 in Rhode Island on Raimondo’s behalf through Thursday; the Republican Governors Association had spent $125,000 on Fung’s behalf through Oct. 20, R.I. Board of Elections disclosures show.

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East Side write-in campaign could shape race for council president

October 31st, 2014 at 1:20 pm by under Nesi's Notes

By Dan McGowan

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Standing outside the Rochambeau Library on Hope Street earlier this month, a woman asked the senior-most member of the Providence City Council if he had an opponent in the upcoming election. Councilman Kevin Jackson shook his head, trying not to lie but avoiding the whole truth.

Jackson, who has represented Ward 3 on the East Side since 1995, is the only name on the ballot Tuesday, but he’s facing a spirited write-in challenge from Marcus Mitchell, the founding president of the Providence Community Library.

The outcome of the race could play a significant role in deciding the next president of the City Council, where current favorite Luis Aponte, Ward 10, has already said he would make Jackson the Democratic majority leader and chairman of the Finance Committee.

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Fire chief faces questions after months-long investigation

October 30th, 2014 at 11:21 pm by under Nesi's Notes

By Tim White

COVENTRY, R.I. (WPRI) – A Target 12 Investigation that involved months of undercover work has raised serious questions over a lack of accountability and public safety concerns about the chief at the Coventry Fire District, which charges the highest residential tax rate levied in any of Rhode Island’s 44 local fire districts.

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Fung, Raimondo stay on attack in last TV debate

October 30th, 2014 at 9:17 pm by under Nesi's Notes

By Ted Nesi

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – The two leading candidates for Rhode Island governor attacked each other fiercely and frequently during their final debate on Thursday night, lobbing charges and countercharges about everything from 38 Studios to pension funding.

Democrat Gina Raimondo and Republican Allan Fung clashed throughout most of the 60-minute debate, televised live from Rhode Island College on WJAR-TV before a boisterous crowd, as they sought to press their cases to the undecided voters who are likely to decide what polls show to be a tight race.

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Progressive Democrat files elections complaint against Cianci

October 30th, 2014 at 4:47 pm by under Nesi's Notes

By Dan McGowan

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – A local activist has filed a complaint with the R.I. Board of Elections accusing mayoral candidate Vincent A. “Buddy” Cianci Jr. of violating several campaign-finance laws before he officially entered the race for mayor in June.

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Mayoral candidates stay on the attack in final debate

October 30th, 2014 at 12:22 pm by under Nesi's Notes

By Dan McGowan

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Keeping with the tone of the entire campaign, the three candidates for mayor of Providence didn’t lead with the issues during their final televised debate Wednesday evening.

Instead independent Vincent A. “Buddy” Cianci Jr., Democrat Jorge Elorza and Republican Dr. Daniel Harrop used the hour-long debate at Rhode Island College to squawk about mail ballot fraud and defaced signs while hurling insults at one another. The debate was aired on WJAR-TV.

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RI Democrats have 10-to-1 financial edge over GOP

October 29th, 2014 at 7:25 pm by under Nesi's Notes

By Ted Nesi

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Republican Allan Fung had a big edge over rival Democrat Gina Raimondo judging by how much money was in their campaign accounts at the start of this week. But Raimondo’s political party will go into the final days of the race far better-funded.

R.I. Board of Elections filings reveal how Raimondo and other top Democrats have moved to take advantage of the higher limits on contributions to state party committees, which can get up to $10,000 from an individual, compared with the limit of $1,000 on donations to individual candidates.

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