campaign 2014

Taveras: I’ll do ‘everything I can’ to help Elorza beat Cianci

September 18th, 2014 at 10:22 am by under Nesi's Notes

By Dan McGowan

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Providence Mayor Angel Taveras said Wednesday he plans to do “everything I can” to ensure that city government remains “free of corruption” by helping Democrat Jorge Elorza defeat Buddy Cianci in the race to lead Rhode Island’s capital city.

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A handful of RI cities powered Raimondo and Fung victories

September 17th, 2014 at 11:59 am by under Nesi's Notes, On the Main Site

Raimondo Fung primary night 2014Rhode Island may have 39 cities and towns, but the state doesn’t have an Electoral College, so it doesn’t matter how many different municipalities a candidate wins – run up the score enough in a few and you could conceivably win an election while losing a majority of the 39.

That’s not what happened in last week’s Democratic and Republican gubernatorial primaries; both Gina Raimondo and Allan Fung came out on top in a majority of the 39 cities and towns, with Raimondo winning 36 of them and Fung winning 28 of them.

But a closer look at the results shows a majority of Raimondo’s votes came from just seven cities and towns, while a majority of Fung’s votes came from only eight.

Raimondo’s top three cities for votes matched the state’s top three cities for population precisely: Providence (9,738 votes), Warwick (4,387) and Cranston (3,593). Her fourth-best community was Cumberland, only the eighth-biggest by population, which gave her 3,150 votes. Add in Pawtucket (2,912), North Providence (2,599) and East Providence (2,527), and you have a majority of Raimondo’s 54,041 accounted for. Her biggest outlier was probably Central Falls, which ranks 19th by population but was 30th for Raimondo votes. (Angel Taveras won the city with help from Mayor James Diossa.)

Raimondo got 50,041 votes total; here are the rankings with cumulative percentages:

  1. Providence: 9,738 (18%)
  2. Warwick: 4,387 (26%)
  3. Cranston: 3,593 (33%)
  4. Cumberland: 3,150 (39%)
  5. Pawtucket: 2,912 (44%)
  6. North Providence: 2,599 (49%)
  7. East Providence: 2,527 (54%)

Fung’s vote totals don’t match up as precisely with population centers. His top cities were his hometown of Cranston (3,040 votes) and Warwick (2,428), which together contributed almost one in three Fung votes. But his third-best town was North Kingstown (834), which ranks 13th by population, whereas the state’s biggest city, Providence, gave him only 616 votes, even fewer than Coventry (734). Another town with outsized impact was East Greenwich (512 votes), 26th by population but sixth for Fung votes. The rest of his majority came from South Kingstown (506) and East Providence (477).

Fung got 17,531 votes total; here are the rankings with cumulative percentages:

  1. Cranston: 3,040 (17%)
  2. Warwick: 2,428 (31%)
  3. North Kingstown: 834 (36%)
  4. Coventry: 734 (40%)
  5. Providence: 616 (44%)
  6. East Greenwich: 512 (47%)
  7. South Kingstown: 506 (49.5%)
  8. East Providence: 477 (52%)

The results in Central Falls were even more striking for Fung than for Raimondo. He won more votes on Block Island (36) than he did in Central Falls (26), even though the latter has 18 times more residents.

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


Ken Block: I didn’t recruit Bob Healey to run for gov

September 16th, 2014 at 11:40 am by under Nesi's Notes

By Ted Nesi

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Former Republican gubernatorial candidate Ken Block said Tuesday he’s not yet ready to endorse his former opponent Allan Fung, but emphasized he had nothing to do with Robert Healey becoming the candidate of the fledgling Moderate Party that Block founded.

“I literally haven’t spoken to [Healey], and I won’t, because I just don’t want to,” Block told WPRI.com on Tuesday morning in his first interview since the primary.

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Watch Newsmakers: Post-primary political roundtable

September 14th, 2014 at 5:00 am by under Nesi's Notes


Raimondo’s primary victory cost $2.3M more than Coakley’s

September 11th, 2014 at 12:20 pm by under Nesi's Notes

By Ted Nesi

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Massachusetts’ population is six times bigger than Rhode Island’s, but it was actually less expensive for Martha Coakley to win a nomination for governor this year in the Bay State than for Gina Raimondo to do so in its small southern neighbor.

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East Side secured Elorza win in Providence mayor primary

September 11th, 2014 at 11:55 am by under Nesi's Notes

By Dan McGowan

While opponent Jorge Elorza was racking up votes on the East Side and the two Democrats were running close to even on the South Side, Michael Solomon’s base in the Mount Pleasant, Elmhurst and the Charles neighborhoods didn’t turn out to vote in numbers that would offset Elorza’s dominating performance across the city, according to a WPRI.com review of pre-mail-ballot voting tallies. In the end, Solomon won the rest of the city, but Elorza’s big East Side haul was enough to secure the victory citywide.

Around 9:45 p.m., Solomon called Elorza to concede the race. Fifteen minutes later, Elorza was ushered in a backdoor at Fete nightclub in Olneyville, the site of his victory party. While more than 150 supporters celebrated in the ballroom area, Elorza shared a moment with his closest supporters backstage. He hugged his campaign manager Marisa O’Gara, who left her position in the Taveras administration earlier this year to work for Elorza.

By 10:15, Brett Smiley, the East Side Democrat whose decision to exit the race and endorse Elorza likely helped Elorza win so heavily in Wards 1, 2, and 3, was introducing the Democratic nominee for mayor of Providence.

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Clay Pell campaign spent $111 for every vote he got

September 10th, 2014 at 1:19 pm by under Nesi's Notes

By Ted Nesi

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Democrat Clay Pell finished the 2014 Democratic gubernatorial primary right where he started, in third place – but not before dishing out more than $3.4 million of his own money in a failed attempt to win.

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Raimondo, Fung set to face off for RI governor

September 10th, 2014 at 1:05 am by under Nesi's Notes

By Ted Nesi

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Rhode Island is set to elect its first female governor or its first Asian-American governor this November after General Treasurer Gina Raimondo and Cranston Mayor Allan Fung won their party’s nominations on Tuesday.

More than 153,000 registered Rhode Island voters cast a ballot in the primary election, with roughly 123,000 votes cast in the Democratic gubernatorial primary and about 31,000 votes cast in the Republican race, according to preliminary results. That would put voter turnout in the primary at roughly 20%.

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More winners in Tuesday’s primary elections:


WPRI.com Live Blog: Primary Night 2014 Coverage

September 9th, 2014 at 4:06 pm by under Nesi's Notes

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


Gov. Chafee endorses Clay Pell for RI governor

September 8th, 2014 at 7:02 pm by under Nesi's Notes

By Ted Nesi

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Incumbent Gov. Lincoln Chafee has made a last-minute endorsement in the Democratic primary for Rhode Island governor, throwing his support behind political newcomer Clay Pell less than 24 hours before voters go to the polls.

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Guillaume de Ramel’s business record scrutinized

September 5th, 2014 at 11:50 am by under Nesi's Notes

By Ted Nesi

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Democrat Guillaume de Ramel’s campaign is sharing new details about the two businesses he incorporated in Rhode Island, following aggressive criticism from Nellie Gorbea, his rival in next week’s primary for secretary of state.

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RI governor hopefuls’ campaign spending tops $10M

September 3rd, 2014 at 12:23 am by under Nesi's Notes

By Ted Nesi

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – The top five candidates seeking to become Rhode Island’s next governor have spent more than $10 million over the last five months jockeying for advantage in the Democratic and Republican primaries, according to a review of campaign-finance filings by WPRI.com.

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Analysis: 5 takeaways from the Republican gov debate

September 2nd, 2014 at 11:22 pm by under Nesi's Notes

Click here to read my five takeaways from the debate on the new WPRI.com website »


Fung, Block attack each other in TV debate

September 2nd, 2014 at 11:21 pm by under Nesi's Notes

By Dan McGowan

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – The two Republican candidates for Rhode Island governor on Tuesday jousted over endorsements and taxes while criticizing each other’s conservative credentials during a televised debate.

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• Related: Watch the full debate on WPRI.com | Analysis: 5 takeaways from the debate


Tonight at 7 live on WPRI 12 – Ken Block debates Allan Fung

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


Watch Newsmakers: Jorge Elorza debates Michael Solomon

August 31st, 2014 at 5:00 am by under Nesi's Notes


Elorza campaign copied letter from Central Falls mayor

August 28th, 2014 at 11:16 pm by under Nesi's Notes

By Dan McGowan

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Mayoral candidate Jorge Elorza is blaming a “former advisor” for drafting a letter on his behalf using language that is nearly identical to a letter that was sent in 2012 by Central Falls Mayor James Diossa.

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Elorza pitches citywide arts festival for Providence

August 28th, 2014 at 8:12 am by under Nesi's Notes

By Dan McGowan

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Democratic mayoral candidate Jorge Elorza said Thursday he wants Providence to host a week-long arts and cultural festival modeled after the popular South by Southwest event in Austin, Texas.

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Bill Clinton: Seth Magaziner is ready to be RI treasurer

August 27th, 2014 at 5:55 pm by under Nesi's Notes

By Ted Nesi

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Former President Bill Clinton gave a full-throated endorsement of Democrat Seth Magaziner in the race for Rhode Island general treasurer on Wednesday, telling a campaign rally that the 31-year-old political newcomer is ready to do the job.

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Analysis: 5 takeaways from the Democratic gov debate

August 26th, 2014 at 11:00 pm by under Nesi's Notes

Click here to read my five takeaways from the debate on the new WPRI.com website »


Democrats for RI gov battle in aggressive TV debate

August 26th, 2014 at 8:01 pm by under Nesi's Notes

By Dan McGowan

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – With two weeks until the primary, the three leading Democratic candidates for Rhode Island governor questioned each other’s records while laying out their plans for job creation and education during a fiery debate Tuesday.

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• Related: Watch the full debate on WPRI.com | Analysis: 5 takeaways from the debate


Taveras loses campaign field director

August 20th, 2014 at 4:14 pm by under Nesi's Notes

By Dan McGowan

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – With less than three weeks before the Democratic primary, Providence mayor and gubernatorial candidate Angel Taveras has lost his campaign field director.

Taveras campaign manager Danny Kedem confirmed that Whitney Larsen, who was in charge of overseeing all campaign volunteers, resigned. He declined to give a reason for her departure or say if a new field director has been hired.

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WPRI 12/Journal Poll: Raimondo takes the lead; Pell rises

August 20th, 2014 at 5:00 am by under Nesi's Notes

By Ted Nesi

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – General Treasurer Gina Raimondo has overtaken Providence Mayor Angel Taveras in the Democratic primary for governor and political newcomer Clay Pell is closing in on him from behind, an exclusive WPRI 12/Providence Journal poll released Wednesday shows.

The new survey of 503 likely Rhode Island Democratic primary voters shows Raimondo in the lead at 32%, Taveras slipping to second place at 27% and Pell close behind him at 26%. The number of voters who are undecided has fallen to 13% ahead of the Sept. 9 primary.

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WPRI 12/Journal Poll: Magaziner takes big lead over Caprio

August 19th, 2014 at 5:00 pm by under Nesi's Notes

By Ted Nesi

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Democrat Seth Magaziner has jumped out to a double-digit lead over his rival Frank Caprio in the primary for Rhode Island general treasurer, an exclusive WPRI 12/Providence Journal poll released Tuesday shows.

The poll also shows A. Ralph Mollis leading in the race for lieutenant governor and Guillaume de Ramel leading in the primary for secretary of state.

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Magaziner’s old boss defends him after Caprio attack

August 18th, 2014 at 5:48 pm by under Nesi's Notes

By Ted Nesi

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Democratic general-treasurer candidate Seth Magaziner’s former boss is strongly defending his ex-employee’s investment credentials after they came under heavy criticism from his rival Frank Caprio.

“I was absolutely appalled and disgusted for a number of reasons, one of which is Seth is obviously qualified as an investment professional – otherwise I wouldn’t have hired him,” Trillium Asset Management CEO Matthew Patsky told WPRI.com in an interview.

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Watch Newsmakers: Frank Ferri; Matt Fecteau

August 17th, 2014 at 5:00 am by under Nesi's Notes


Taveras knocks Pell again for lack of experience

August 13th, 2014 at 6:34 pm by under Nesi's Notes

By Ted Nesi

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Democratic gubernatorial candidate Angel Taveras doubled down on his criticism of rival Clay Pell on Wednesday, citing a newly published WPRI.com examination of Pell’s background to suggest the 32-year-old isn’t ready to lead Rhode Island.

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$3.5M spent by RI governor candidates since July 1

August 13th, 2014 at 1:25 am by under Nesi's Notes

By Ted Nesi

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – The top five candidates for Rhode Island governor spent a whopping $3.5 million on their campaigns in the six weeks since the start of July, with Democrats Gina Raimondo and Clay Pell shelling out well over $1 million each.

Here’s how the money race played out through Monday for statewide offices on the ballot this year in Rhode Island.

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Clay Pell’s résumé comes under closer scrutiny

August 12th, 2014 at 10:40 am by under Nesi's Notes

By Ted Nesi

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Democratic gubernatorial hopeful Clay Pell has compiled a lengthy résumé in the nine years since he received his bachelor’s degree from Harvard University, an employment history that is drawing more scrutiny as it comes under fire from one of his rivals.

Pell has actually had only two full-time permanent jobs since finishing law school, according to a WPRI.com review of public information, statements made by Pell and details provided by his campaign.

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Clay Pell launching new ad to blunt Taveras attack

August 7th, 2014 at 10:00 pm by under Nesi's Notes

By Ted Nesi

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Democratic gubernatorial candidate Clay Pell is moving quickly to try and blunt a TV attack ad that’s being aired in heavy rotation by his rival, Providence Mayor Angel Taveras, with his own spot arguing the campaign should stay policy-focused.

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