Taveras, the “Head Start to Harvard” first Latino mayor of Providence is a champion of progressive values and local liberals are inspired by his candidacy in the same way we were with Barack Obama in 2008. A key difference is Taveras has executive political experience as mayor of the Capital City. He averted a financial crisis in Providence by negotiating compromises with organized labor and local tax-exempt nonprofits.
Taveras will likely square off against General Treasurer Gina Raimondo, who has come under fire lately for cutting public sector pensions and then reinvesting those savings in volatile alternative investments with high fees for money managers. Pundits anticipate a bruising primary, with Taveras receiving grassroots support from local labor unions and other Providence political activists while Raimondo will benefit from anonymous super PAC donations from wealthy Wall Street special interests.
Yesterday, Taveras personally asked Raimondo if she would sign a People’s Pledge and disavow anonymous out-of-state donations. Her campaign has yet to respond to the overture though it did distance itself from the idea on Wednesday.
Clay Pell is also considering running for governor as a Democrat. The wealthy grandson of Senator Claiborne Pell, it’s unclear how his candidacy could affect the Taveras-Raimondo race.