RI Democratic Convention Won’t Endorse for Governor

The field is crowded for Rhode Island Governor this year, including four Democrats. But now the party has announced it will not endorse any of the candidates at this Sunday’s state convention. So the candidates are left to their ads and stump speeches to sway voters.

“We have the highest unemployment rate in the country; failing public schools; roads and bridges that are crumbling. Rhode Island needs a leader who is going stand up and lead and get people back to work. And each candidate needs to deliver that message to the people and people need to decide who they think can lead,” said General Treasurer Gina Raimondo, (D) Candidate for RI Governor.”

The campaigns of Angel Taveras and Clay Pell also issued statements, saying the non–endorsement is wise.

“The decision by the State Democratic Party not to officially endorse a candidate for Governor this year is probably not just aimed at Democrats. A lot of independents may be voting in the primary as well.”

The law allows independents to vote in either party primary, and then disaffiliate afterwards.

“The result is that the people, who are voting, are those that have an interest in the race. They don’t have to be Democrats. We have a semi–open state. The people voting aren’t necessarily those who are the old party faithful,” said Dr. Kay Israel, Professor of Political Communication at Rhode Island.

And sometimes Rhode Island voters have ignored the party’s recommendation.

“Getting the endorsement has not meant that you’d get the nomination,” said Professor Israel.

And with no party endorsement, you might just see a bigger ad campaign battle on the airwaves.