Meet Clay Pell, (D) Candidate for Rhode Island Governor - ABC6 - Providence, RI and New Bedford, MA News, Weather

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Meet Clay Pell, (D) Candidate for Rhode Island Governor

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by ABC6 Chief Political Reporter Mark Curtis

mcurtis@abc6.com 

He may have a famous wife; and he may have a famous political name; but newcomer Clay Pell says he his own man.

He wants to be the next Governor of Rhode Island.

"I believe that government – when done right – can really change people's lives. We really can help people get a first class education. We really can build our roads and our bridges. We really can create jobs," said Clay Pell, (D) Candidate for Rhode Island Governor.

To do that Pell wants Rhode Island to become the first state in the nation that offers every high school student a professional internship.

"A first class education requires that we give students the opportunity to get the job skills, and the understanding of the job market that they need, so that they can get a job."

Pell also wants to better promote the coastal and marine economy in Rhode Island.

"This is an incredible asset and resource for our state that we can leverage through the defense sector, through shipbuilding, through the maritime sector," Pell said.

ABC6 Chief Political Reporter Mark Curtis said, "Here's some more profile information on Clay Pell. He's a Harvard and Georgetown Law Graduate.

He then served in the U.S. Coast Guard and as a White House Fellow."

As for social issues being debated in the General Assembly this year, Pell say's legalizing marijuana – like other states – is not a priority.

"How we're going to create a first class education, invest in roads and bridges, and we'll look at marijuana down the line," said Pell.

But Pell does say he favors a number of gun control measures being debated on Smith Hill.

"Well I think we should have limitations on high–capacity magazines, for example. I think we should have restrictions on assault–style weapons as well," Pell said.

By all accounts, this is going to be a competitive race for governor.

But Pell says the fact that he's never been elected to any political office, makes him stand out in the field.

"My experience is not that of an elected official, you're right. It's as an office in the Coast Guard; it's as a leader in the department of education; working with President Obama. And I believe that we need to change the culture of politics in this state, if we are going to move things forward," said Pell.

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