Raimondo launches campaign for Rhode Island governor

December 18, 2013

Rhode Island Treasurer Gina Raimondo (D) officially announced her campaign for governor Wednesday, likely setting the stage for a competitive Democratic primary for an open seat.

In a 4 1/2-minute video posted online, "Raimondo repeatedly mentions her family -- her children, her ailing father and her siblings -- and likens her personal life to her approach to governance.

"We come together as a family and we help each other along," she says, speaking directly to the camera. "That's how I see public service."

Raimondo's decision puts her on a probable collision course with Providence Mayor Angel Taveras (D), who launched his bid in October. Both are seen as rising stars in Rhode Island Democratic circles. A third Democrat, Herbert Claiborne "Clay" Pell IV, is also exploring a run. There has been some speculation that Raimondo may opt to run as an independent.

In her announcement video, Raimondo also seeks to address criticism of her decision to tackle pension reform.

"I know pension reform was and still is a hard thing for many people. But it was harder still to think about what would have happened to those pensions if we didn't save them," she says.

Raimondo said she would officially kick off her campaign in January.

Gov. Lincoln Chafee (D) surprisingly announced in September that he would not run for reelection. Chafee joined the Democratic Party earlier this year in what looked like an effort to boost his odds of winning a second term as polls showed he was terribly unpopular.

The eventual Democratic nominee will likely begin the general election as a substantial front-runner. Cranston Mayor Allan Fung and Moderate Party founder Ken Block are competing for the GOP nomination.

Sean Sullivan has covered national politics for The Washington Post since 2012.
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Aaron Blake | December 18, 2013