Angel Taveras has a rags to riches story, and now wants to take his successes as Mayor, and move them to the State House as Governor.
"To have a chance to be Governor, to help create jobs, to improve education, to leave the state stronger than I found it. It's a wonderful opportunity to make a big difference in the future of our state," said Mayor Angel Taveras, (D) Candidate for Rhode Island Governor.
All candidates agree the economy is the top issue, but after the "38 Studios" collapse Taveras says Rhode Island needs to put less emphasis on attracting outside companies, and more on expanding those already here.
"We need to recognize, that if you look at some of the biggest companies that we have in Rhode Island – Hasbro, CVS and Alex and Ani. All homegrown talent and they've grown and expanded here, and they've stayed here. We need to make sure, to help the businesses that are here," Taveras said.
Taveras says he's open minded about reducing sales and other taxes, but wants a plan for how to replace any lost revenue first.
ABC6 Chief Political Reporter Mark Curtis said, "Here's some profile information on Angel Taveras. After graduating from Harvard, he attended GeorgetownLawSchool. He later served as a Housing Court Judge in Providence."
As for social issues, Mayor Taveras is in favor of some gun control initiatives.
"I think we should have banned assault weapons. I think we should ban high capacity magazines. I think we need to make sure that people who are accused of domestic violence, do not have access to weapons."
But Taveras – who backed legalizing medical marijuana – is not yet sure if pot should be legalized for all adults – as it recently was in other states.
"I terms of legalization, I have some concerns. I want to see what happens in Colorado and Washington."
Overall the Democratic primary is a crowded field, but Taveras believes he stands out.
"Only one of us has been a chief executive. Only one of us has taken a budget deficit and turned it into a budget surplus. Only one of us have brought together unions, universities, hospitals, retirees – a community – to save a city from bankruptcy."
As part of his platform, Taveras is advocating for universal pre–kindergarten programs across Rhode Island.