Kevin Aherne (@KAherne17)
The mud has been slung, the endorsements have been granted, and agendas have been laid out; It' is officially Primary Week in Rhode Island!
Who could potentially beat Buddy? How much does political experience matter? How effective are endorsements or attack ads?
On Tuesday, Ocean State voters will answer these questions at the polls, and several key races will be narrowed down, bringing forth party nominations for Governor, Providence Mayor, Statewide Offices, and several local seats in the State House.
Today, we focus on three highly-contested races: the Democratic and Republican primaries for Governor, and the Democratic primary for Mayor of Providence (AKA: The race to face Buddy). If you are under-informed, undecided, or just generally intrigued, learn everything you need to know about each of the candidates in the breakdown below.
Democratic Gubernatorial Primary
Herbert Claiborne "Clay" Pell IV
Ultimately, Raimondo has the poise, experience, and financial prowess that far exceeds her competition. If there were no Pell in the race, Taveras would have given the General Treasurer a run for her money, but Michelle Kwan's husband has hamstrung the Providence Mayor, impeding his ability to compete for the party's nomination by forcing him to spend much of his campaign cash.
1. Gina Raimondo - 45%
2. Angel Taveras - 30%
3. Clay Pell - 25%
4. Todd Giroux - <1%
Republican Gubernatorial Primary
Kenneth J. "Ken" Block
When it comes to decision-time, Rhoce Island Republicans will have to consider that while Block may have some good ideas, that Fung poses the biggest threat to Gina Raimondo in November's general election. The rub, however, is that this contentious primary has taken a toll on both the finances and character of Cranston's Mayor.
Allan Fung - 60%
Ken Block - 40%
Providence Mayoral Democratic Primary
When Smiley was on the ballot, Elorza was poised to split the progressive vote, giving Solomon the advantage in the primary. But not only did Smiley cancel his campaign, he joined forces with Elorza, bringing his endorsements and support along with him.
But back to the initial question; Which candidate could potentially beat Buddy?
The answer has to be Jorge Elorza. Not only will he carry much of the city's significant Hispanic vote (nearly 40% of the population), but he will represent the political outsider, and thus symbolizes the potential end to political corruption in the city.
Jorge Elorza - 55%
Michael Solomon - 45%
Kevin Aherne is 990WBOB's Editor-in-Chief and Lead Political Correspondent. The former Director of Content for GoLocalProv and GoLocalWorcester, is also host of The Cobblestone Press, a weekly roundup of news and politics, airing LIVE Thursdays at 8 pm.
Tune in Tuesday at 6 pm for up-to-the-minute coverage of the primaries. Kevin Aherne, Kevin Willette, Mike Gardiner and the rest of the WBOB political team will be on air all night updating you as the news breaks!