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Buddy Cianci: 14 To Watch in Rhode Island in 2014

Thursday, January 02, 2014

 

Buddy Cianci, former Mayor (and potential mayoral candidate) of Providence

Will he, or won't he?

One of the burning questions for 2014 is whether the former two-time Mayor of Providence will toss his hat in the ring for a third go at the office.

GoLocal posed the question back in September, asking political experts and pundits for their thoughts on the matter. Of the longest-serving Mayor of Providence, who was in office from 1975 to 1984 and again from 1991 to 2002, Darrell West of the Brookings Institute and formerly of Brown's Taubman Center for Public Policy said, "There would be tremendous media and public interest if Cianci ran. It would turn this into a high-profile campaign. It is not clear what will be the deciding factor. It would be very different if Cianci is in the race or not."

So what will be the deciding factor, and when will we know, either way? For now, it appears that Cianci's enjoying the speculation that he might be a contender in the 2014 race, from the comfort—and paycheck—of his WPRO talk show seat. If he deems the race could be winnable, watch for Cianci in 2014.  

Not all, however, are convinced that the former Mayor could be a viable candidate for a vastly different Providence than he last left it. Former Providence Journal political writer Charlie Bakst took to his Facebook page in October to question the political move. "Why in the world would ANYONE, let alone a "qualified leader," want to see Cianci return to City Hall?," wrote Bakst. "I appreciate that he did some good things, and he's entertaining, but he left a disgraceful legacy, and who needs to revive that kind of administration and the stain it cast upon the city?"

Make no mistake about it—Cianci back in the mix in 2014 would be a game changer.

 

Related Slideshow: 14 To Watch in RI in 2014

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Kate Brierley

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Matt Jennings

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EpiVax

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Andy Posner

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In October, the National Consumer Law Center gave Rhode Island a "C" for debt protection laws for consumers in the state. Posner told GoLocal that "One of the biggest problems is that we are the only New England state that allows payday lenders to charge more than 36% APR. In fact, in RI they can charge up to 260% APR thanks to a special carve out in the general laws. These loans target the poor and trap them in a cycle of debt that leads to tremendous stress and a significant drain on their finances."

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Teespring

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Patti Doyle

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Anna Cano-Morales

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Edith Ajello

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While medical marijuana and the decriminalization of the possession of small amounts of it have moved through the General Assembly, the question is whether Rhode Island will follow Colorado and Washington's lead and pass full-scale legalization legislation.

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Buddy Cianci

Will he, or won't he?

One of the burning questions for 2014 is whether the former two-time Mayor of Providence will toss his hat in the ring for a third go at the office.

GoLocal posed the questions back in September, asking political experts and pundits their thoughts on the matter. Of the longest-serving Mayor of Providence, who was in office from 1975 to 1984 and again from 1991 to 2002, Darrell West of the Brookings Institute and formerly of Brown's Taubman Center for Public Policy said, "There would be tremendous media and public interest if Cianci ran. It would turn this into a high-profile campaign. It is not clear what will be the deciding factor. It would be very different if Cianci is in the race or not."

Read More

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Clay Pell

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Pell, who's resume includes being a White House staffer and Coast Guard Reserve Officer, married Olympic figure skater Michelle Kwan in a ceremony at First Unitarian Church in Providence in 2013, and was appointed by President Obama as Deputy Assistant Secretary for International and Foreign Language Education in April.

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