Raimondo announces run for governor - News, Weather and Classifieds for Southern New England

Raimondo announces run for governor

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General Treasurer Gina Raimondo announced Wednesday in a four-minute video emailed to her supporters and posted online that she will run for governor of Rhode Island in 2014.

Raimondo, 42, said that continuing the progress made by pension reform, which she crafted, is her reason for seeking the governor's office. A lawsuit filed by public workers and retirees pending in state court challenges the reforms, saying they constituted an unfair breach of contract.

"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. So we did, by coming together with overwhelming majorities in both houses of the state Legislature," Raimondo said in the video.

Raimondo said the savings from pension reform were meant to improve schools and create jobs. But she said those investments haven't been made because Rhode Island's cities and towns are still struggling with pension liabilities and fiscal uncertainty.

"It's time to finally turn the page in Rhode Island and have a state government with the courage to tackle hard problems, the honesty to tell you the truth no matter what the political consequences, the commitment to bring people together on your behalf and the resolve to get it done," Raimondo said.

The treasurer presented no details of how she would accomplish her goals, saying those would wait for the campaign's kickoff in January.

Brown University professor and NBC 10 political analyst Wendy Schiller commented on the timing of Raimondo's announcement.

"I think this is a little late," Schiller said. "I think she should have announced a month ago. I think Mayor (Angel) Taveras got a big jump on her by announcing earlier and also having a really good subsequent month, a rollout on policies, on coverage. So she's got some work to do some catch up to do."

Taveras and Todd Giroux, who ran as an independent in 2010, are also running as Democrats. Clay Pell has formed an exploratory committee.

Former Moderate Ken Block and Cranston Mayor Allan Fung are seeking the Republic nomination.

Incumbent Gov. Lincoln Chafee is not seeking reelection.

Raimondo reported $2.3 million in her campaign account as of Sept. 30, the most recent number available. Taveras had less than $800,000. Fung has less than $300,000 and Block has loaned himself $500,000.

Taveras' campaign on Wednesday called on Raimondo to agree to forego money from super PACs, independent groups that can raise and spend unlimited sums of money. Raimondo said she was open to it, but that's it's premature to talk about it until the field of candidates is settled.

Raimondo was elected treasurer in 2010. Before that, she was a venture capitalist and co-founded the firm Point Judith Capital. She grew up in Smithfield, graduated magna cum laude from Harvard  University and went on to Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar. She obtained her law degree from Yale University.

She lives in Providence with her husband, Andy Moffit, and two children, Ceci and Tommy.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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