Kevin Aherne (@KAherne17)
After months of speculation over whether he would seek his old office at City Hall, former Providence Mayor Vincent A. Cianci declared his candidacy Wednesday, and will run as an independent.
At 73, Cianci will be the oldest candidate in the 6-man field that also includes City Council President Michael Solomon, Jorge Elorza, Brett Smiley, Lorne Adrain, and Dr. Daniel Harrop.
Though he has resigned from the office twice subsequent to a pair of felony convictions, Cianci is considered to be the front runner in the race.
Cianci was released from federal prison in May of 2007 following a five year sentence for the charge of racketeering conspiracy, at which time he returned to Rhode Island. Most recently the former mayor had been the mid-afternoon weekday talk show host for Providence radio station WPRO.
Brett Smiley Responds
In response to the announcement, Brett Smiley commented, "Providence cannot afford to return to the corrupt politics of the past, and that is what Buddy Cianci's candidacy represents. Despite his many strengths, Cianci's time in office was characterized by widespread corruption, capped by his own conviction and jail sentence on charges of racketeering. I've been very clear to outline my vision for Providence along with detailed action plans to grow our economy, improve our schools, keep our streets safe and more, and I'll accomplish all of this with transparency and integrity rather than cash payments and back-room deals."
Smiley added, "As I've said before, you shouldn't have to know a guy to get something done in City Hall. And you certainly shouldn't have to pay a guy. If we want to turn the page on corruption in Providence, the last thing we should do is bring back the guy who wrote the book."
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