Clay Pell is now a candidate for Rhode Island Governor. He formally launched his campaign Tuesday morning sparking a four way democratic primary.
Pell walked into the Rotunda Room at the RI Convention Center to a crowd of about 300 people. By his side were his famous wife, Olympic figure skater Michelle Kwan, and his grandmother, Nuala Pell. The 32-year-old was introduced by Kwan.
"Hello, everyone. I'm Michelle Kwan's husband," he greeted the room which erupted in laughter.
Pell served in the U.S. Coast Guard and worked on both the White House National Security Staff and at the U.S. Education Department. As a gubernatorial candidate he wants to bring economic growth to Rhode Island and restore hope to the people.
"For me, as it is for everyone in this state, Rhode Island is not simply a place – it is our home, and is worth fighting for. Rhode Island is about family, it is about building opportunity for this generation and generations to come, and it is about the dreams we have yet to achieve," said Pell.
"I am so proud to call myself a Rhode Islander," said Kwan. "A first generation Rhode Islander."
Pell may be a political newcomer to Rhode Island, but his name is well known on it's own. He is the grandson of late U.S. Sen. Claiborne Pell. The candidates' grandmother also spoke at the podium.
Pell initially announced his run for the State House via video Monday night.
Three other Democrats are already in the race including Providence Mayor Angel Taveras, State Treasurer Gina Raimondo, and businessman Todd Giroux. Cranston Mayor Allan Fung and businessman Ken Block will face off in a Republican primary. Running for Governor on the independent side is Thomas David of Smithfield.