Potential candidates jockey for position in Decision 2014 - News, Weather and Classifieds for Southern New England

Potential candidates jockey for position in Decision 2014

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We're still more than a year away from the 2014 elections, but a crowded field is already shaping up for Rhode Island's statewide offices.

Lincoln Chafee set the tone for a dynamic political season by jumping to the Democratic Party, setting up a potential primary with gubernatorial wannabes Treasurer Gina Raimondo and Providence Mayor Angel Taveras.

All are raising money. None has announced.

Cranston Mayor Allan Fung is the only name that's surfaced on the Republican side. Though Ken Block says he's considering switching from the Moderate Party to run as a Republican.

This wouldn't have happened in past generations, said NBC 10 political analyst Wendy Schiller of Brown University.

"In the old days, party bosses picked who could run in any of these offices. Today, the voters do it in the primary process. So, the primary process has taken over, really, and it's opened things up for a number of people who might not have been able to run before. But now they have the option, and if they can raise the money and get the visibility, they can make a run for it," Schiller said.

Ralph Mollis and Dan McKee have indicated their desire to be lieutenant governor, and three Democrats – Edwin Pacheco, Guillaume de Ramel and Nellie Gorbea -- have said they want to be secretary of state.

Two people are in the general treasurer's race: Democrats Ernest Almonte and Frank Caprio, who may run in another party or no party.

Schiller said the more, the merrier.

"You have a lot of very good people, experienced people, qualified people trying to run the state. And you hope that because the choice set is so good that the resulting policies will be good as well," Schiller said.

The only sure thing is that this lineup will likely change before voting begins.

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