Who your friends are matters when you're a politician. Just ask Gina Raimondo who has become increasingly chummy with Speaker of the House Gordon Fox.
The Fox-Raimondo alliance was further highlighted on Thursday when the pair united to role out a legislative plan to finance road and infrastructure repairs in cities and towns.
Fox has been a strong supporter of Raimondo standing by her in pension reform and urging all the Democrat lawmakers to vote for the plan. Fox had Raimondo's back when the unions wanted to go back to the negotiating table regarding pensions and Governor Chafee said well.. okay.. but Raimondo stood firm and said no. Speaker Fox supported her sentiment noting the time for negotiating was over.
Fox has the most powerful political position in the state of Rhode Island; speaker of the house. He also has a powerful position among the Democratic Party where he helps pick the chairman and the party's official endorsements.
Speaker of The House Gordon Fox could be Raimondo's chance of getting the Democratic Party endorsement over possible rival Providence Mayor Angel Taveras. If Fox throws his efforts behind Raimondo, which seems likely, she is a shoo in for the endorsement.
The endorsement is something Raimondo really needs. While the unions have turned on her a party endorsement would strengthen Raimondo's public perception among Democrats and liberals.
Meanwhile the unions like Taveras and so do most progressives. With a party endorsement and his sweeping popularity Taveras would be almost unstoppable. Raimondo is a smart cookie, she knows this and because of that she is strengthening her ties with people that matter AKA Gordon Fox.
Fox seems to be taking the bait. At the afternoon press conference Raimondo took a stab at Taveras, indirectly, by saying the city of Providence could have saved $5 million dollars on a road work project if it had went through the program she is proposing.
Not to mention, Gordon Fox did cut the General Treasurer a campaign check of $250 as recently at September of 2012. What do you think she was campaigning for in September of 2012?
To be fair, Fox did give Taveras several checks around the time of 2010 election and shortly after but not as recently as the check to Raimondo.
The Fox- Raimondo alliance could be a powerful one and Taveras should be nervous, at the same time, Raimondo shouldn't get too comfortable. In Rhode Island politics friendships sometimes only last as long as they are convenient.
Dee DeQuattro is the assignment desk manager and digital news coordinator for ABC6. She studied politics and communications and holds a master's degree from Providence College. Follow her on twitter @deedequattro and log on to ABC6 .com for her latest in depth coverage of politics and news.