Adrain launches mayoral campaign

Adrain begins campaign as Democratic mayoral candidate at charitable restaurant

Metro Editor
Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Lorne Adrain, former chairman of the Rhode Island Board of Governors for Higher Education and managing director at the wealth management firm Ballentine Partners, formally launched his mayoral campaign yesterday morning at the Friendship Cafe in South Providence.

Adrain became the fifth Democratic hopeful vying to become the 38th mayor of Providence, along with City Council President Michael Solomon; Brett Smiley, a former chairman of the Providence Water Supply Board; Jorge Elorza, a former Housing Court judge and Chris Young, a perennial candidate for public offices across the state. The winner of the Democratic primary in September will face Republican Daniel Harrop ’76 MD’79 in the general election Nov. 4.

“We’ve been at this for several months, testing support in the community and around the country for my candidacy,” Adrain told The Herald. “We’ve gotten a very strong, positive response. We’ve developed plans to make positive change in the community, and we’re jumping in with both feet.”

In his remarks, Adrain said he chose to begin his campaign at the Friendship Cafe — a mission-driven restaurant that donates all its proceeds to supporting Amos House, a social services agency that provides meals, shelter and support services for low-income and homeless individuals — because it exemplifies the kind of community solutions that are possible in Providence.

“Providence has been a cradle of freedom and the home of many a ‘lively experiment,’” Adrain said in his speech, according to a campaign press release.

Drawing on his entrepreneurial background, Adrain proposed an economic strategy that “capitalizes on the distinctive assets of the city, while promoting entrepreneurship of all kinds” through reduced business and property tax rates, according to the press release.

He also proposed city-wide free Internet access — particularly in low-income neighborhoods — and the expansion of preschool and full-day kindergarten programs, according to the press release.

Adrain hired Steve Gerencser, consultant to former U.S. Sen. Chris Dodd, D-Conn., as a campaign adviser last month. He will likely compete with Elorza for support among East Side voters, WPRI reported.

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