First off, a big congratulations to all those who prevailed in Tuesday's election. A campaign is a hard and long fought battle and for all those that won, congrats!
That said, the Democrats won big this week, literally. The Dems swept the races for both statewide and federal offices.
And she "RI"ses
At the top of the statewide ticket Gina Raimondo has been elected the first female governor. Raimondo deserves some real credit. Many people thought she would never be elected governor after she “defied” the unions by pushing for pension reform, instead the mother of two overcame all the protests and the hurdles, landing herself in the governor’s office. One thing is clear, Raimondo has some guts. She went after pensions as Treasurer and became one of the most high-profile General Treasurers in Rhode Island history, let’s see if she brings this same leadership style to the governor’s office.
Thirty-five dollars and a dream
Bob Healey also comes out on top. He knew he wasn’t going to win when he entered the race, but he too made Rhode Island history as he received 22% of the vote with just $35 in his political coffer. The Moderate “Cool Moose” sent a message to Rhode Island lawmakers; people are sick of the stats quo and want to see change. Kudos to Healey for mobilizing voters with his grassroots efforts. Although he is going to be subject to some harsh critics who say he served as a spoiler in the race.
No lame duck
As for Allan Fung, he is not going anywhere. Literally, he will continue to be the mayor of Cranston for the next two years of his terms and then who knows? Fung did promise his supporters he would be back, and he had one of the best lines of the night when he said, it took “two first ladies, two presidents, and a moose to beat me.”
Another new Renaissance?
It was one of those “Toto, We are not in Kansas anymore,” moments for Buddy Cianci has he was defeated by Democrat Jorge Elorza in the General Election. Most people expected that the race would be closer than it was, but Elorza had a comfortable victory... which just goes to show: Providence isn’t the same city it was 20 years ago. While some of Cianci’s supporters remained, it just wasn’t enough to put the convicted felon over the top.
Despite the loss, Cianci was his old self as he returned to the airwaves of WPRO the day after the election. What can he say, he loves the people and the attention. It wouldn’t be like Cianci to miss a day in the spotlight, plus he had a lot to say. He even invited his former opponent on, but Elorza declined referencing the talk radio boycott.
As for the voters, they lose this week. The voter turnout on Tuesday was abysmal with only 44% of registered voters casting a ballot. It is literally pathetic that voters are that apathetic that they will leave the future of the state in the hands of less than half the people. And not to detract from anyone’s victory but everyone who won only won with support of less than ¼ of the voting population.
The Republican House Caucus made some gains this week picking up five Representative seats. Nearly doubled in size, the caucus met to select the leader for the next assembly session, and alas, there is trouble in paradise. While the Democrats unanimously endorsed House Speaker Mattiello to continue in the role, the Republicans may be squabbling. It looks like Rep. Patricia Morgan is making a play for Brian Newberry’s spot as Minority Leader and Rep. Michael Chippendale is looking to become Minority Whip instead of Rep. Joe Trillo. Although the dynamics in the caucus have changed it is unlikely that the members will oust Newberry, who has been a very pragmatic leader, or Trillo who has been very outspoken. Either way, it’s just another day for Rhode Island Republicans.
That’s it for this week. All eyes will now move to the newly elected officials and their transition teams. What’s next for Rhode Island? We will know more next week. Have a great weekend!
Honor your veterans!
And by the way, next Tuesday is Veteran’s Day so make sure you do something nice for someone who served this nation and was willing to put their life on the line for yours. It’s not just a day off, it’s a day to show your respect.
EDITOR'S NOTE: An earlier version of this article incorrectly claimed that Bishop Thomas Tobin would boycott Gina Raimondo's inauguration due to her stance on abortion. A spokesperson for the Bishop claims that a previously scheduled mass will be the sole reason for Tobin's absence.