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Editorial: Raimondo for Rhode Island, Elorza for Providence

The upcoming elections in Rhode Island provide an opportunity to truly enact change within the state. The gubernatorial and Providence mayoral races hold particular weight, as these offices are highly contested, with no incumbent appearing on the ballot for either office.

Looking particularly at the gubernatorial seat, Gina Raimondo, the Democratic candidate and current Rhode Island general treasurer, faces off against Allan Fung, the Republican candidate and mayor of Cranston, in what has proven to be a tight and immensely aggressive campaign. In an arguably more high-profile race, the fresh-faced Democrat Jorge Elorza competes with the cult personality of former Providence mayor Vincent “Buddy” Cianci — a newly minted Independent — in a contest that also includes Daniel Harrop, the Republican candidate who appears to be splitting the vote.

For governor, we are pleased to endorse Raimondo. Her unparalleled, hands-on experience in dealing with the state’s debt-ridden and over-extended pension system points to a much-needed familiarity and courage in the face of vested interests to pursue solvent policy on Rhode Island’s fiscal undergirding, a constant significant weakness. Though we acknowledge that Fung has spurred economic development in Cranston, his campaign highlights the necessity to cut the state workforce and looks for a possible move to a right-to-work framework, a platform we feel limits the bargaining power of labor and stands in contradiction to promoting growth within the state as a whole.

This ideological weakness is further perpetuated by Fung’s recent flurry of ad campaigns against Raimondo. The amalgamation of Raimondo’s proven track record and cohesive and transparent vision for Rhode Island underscores her unmatched qualification for the position. We sincerely hope the voter base shares this perspective.

While the board undoubtedly recognizes the past work of Cianci in his two terms as mayor — devoid of the often-described criminal undercurrent — the city of Providence is at a critical crossroads and would benefit from the young and fresh perspective of Elorza. Though Elorza is inexperienced relative to his two opponents, his consistent emphasis on morality highlights a genuine desire to better the city and reinvigorate an all-but-forgotten aura of optimism. President Obama’s recent endorsement of Elorza notably underscores the necessity for new leadership in Providence.

Furthermore, Cianci’s attempt to reimagine himself falls flat in the face of recent attempts (uncovered days ago by Providence Journal reporter and part-time Brown professor Tom Mooney) to steal and sway absentee ballots of the homeless, as well as threats against the safety of those who oppose him, raises doubts that revisiting his mayorship will be anything more than that. The mythology of Buddy getting things done, albeit unethically, juxtaposed with his actual exacerbation of Providence’s fiscal crisis point to Elorza as a necessary breath of fresh air in relation to the other candidates.

We urge all readers to take advantage of the democratic system and vote on Nov. 4.

 

Editorials are written by The Herald’s editorial page board: its editors, Alexander Kaplan ’15 and James Rattner ’15, and its members, Natasha Bluth ’15, Manuel Contreras ’16, Baxter DiFabrizio ’15, Manuel Monti-Nussbaum ’15, Katherine Pollock ’16 and Himani Sood ’15. Send comments to editorials@browndailyherald.com.



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