Mayor Angel Taveras announces campaign for RI Governor

by ABC6 Chief Political Reporter Mark Curtis

Mayor Angel Taveras wants to change his title to Governor Taveras, and his backers like the idea.

But with Rhode Island's unemployment rate inching above nine percent again part of his focus will be on attracting new jobs.

“We need to focus on growing the companies that we have here now. And we cannot think that we're going to have a silver bullet that's going to come in and save us. We've seen where that's led us. It is not a good path.”

The Mayor says he brought Providence out of crisis as it teetered on bankruptcy.

That's enough to convince two seniors to back him.

“Really, Providence has done so well under his leadership. You just can't beat it,” said Providence voter Rosalie Nocera.

ABC6 Chief Political Reporter Mark Curtis said, “One big challenge facing Mayor Taveras is the fact that 85 percent of Rhode Island voters live outside the City of Providence.”

So leaders from Woonsocket, Coventry and Cumberland were on hand, to try to show Taveras has support out state.

“We have quite an immigrant population now and I think he appeals very well in Woonsocket,” said State Rep. Steve Casey (D-Woonsocket).

But the Mayor could not escape his biggest controversy – plans to keep the Davey Lopes Pool closed for good.

“If Mayor Tavares can't keep a pool open, with the money and the resources to do so, he's already kind of proven to us that he can't be Governor,” said Mark Smiley, Chairman of the Rhode Island Republican Party.

“I don't answer to Wall Street I answer to you,” Mayor Taveras told supporters who gathered for his announced bid for Governor.

And with that Mayor Taveras took aim at his likely Democratic challenger, State Treasurer Gina Raimondo, in what's likely to be a spirited primary race.