Congratulations, Gina Raimondo! You’ll soon be Rhode Island’s 75th governor, and you’ve also broken the so-called glass ceiling to become the Ocean State’s first ever female chief executive.
Raimondo is also the first Democrat Rhode Island has elected governor since 1990. That’s a really long time for a state some call the bluest in the nation. Since hope springs eternal, here’s hoping she will also be the most progressive governor since Frank Licht in the early 1970’s. He’s most famous for “push[ing] through a state income tax to end Rhode Island’s fiscal crises of the 1960’s” and is also said to have “approved more business projects than any other Governor in Rhode Island’s history.”
I’ll be happy if she’s as liberal-leaning as Governor Chafee.
Democrats swept the statewide offices last night, but only two of the five had the endorsement of the RI Progressive Democrats – General Treasurer-elect Seth Magaziner and Secretary of State-elect Nellie Gorbea. Only Magaziner had their endorsement in the primary. Still, most new statewide officers will move their newly acquired positions left with the noticeable exception of Dan McKee, who will replace Elizabeth Roberts as the lt. governor.
So does Rhode Island have many conservative Democrats, as the New York Times reported this weekend? Or is there a liberal majority in the Ocean State that doesn’t know how to play nice in the sandbox with each other? It’s pretty easy to argue that he greatest strengths of the Raimondo campaign turned out to be Clay Pell and Bob Healey.
Bob Healey was the big winner last night and, once again, is officially a Rhode Island cult hero. He spent $35 and won 22 percent of the vote. That’s amazingly hopeful news if you hate money in politics. He’s the ’73 PC Friars of Campaign 2014 – the irreverent underdog who broke all the rules and maybe, just maybe, could have even beaten the dynasty team if they got to go one-on-one.