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All eyes on Rhode Island’s 2022 Gubernatorial election

Raymond Baccari

Anchor Contributor

Photo by Raymond Baccari

Since the 2020 election is pretty much over and done with, well at least in the state of Rhode Island, it’s time to look ahead at the 2022 midterm elections. After a presidential election, there are midterm elections that occur two years later. The next midterm election will occur on Tuesday, November 8, 2022. While that may seem like a long time from now, we will start to see candidates doing fundraisers and making announcements in the coming months and especially throughout 2021. Almost all the statewide offices in Rhode Island with the exception of the Attorney General’s office will be an open election since all of the current officeholders: Governor Gina Raimondo, Lieutenant Governor Dan McKee, Secretary of State Nellie Gorbea and General Treasurer Seth Magaziner will all be term-limited. Open elections for these offices will create some exciting primaries, the most interesting being the potentially contested Gubernatorial primary elections. I will list all the potential candidates that we could see running for the top office in our state.

Governor Raimondo is currently in her final term as Governor after easily winning re-election in 2018, and there are a number of possible candidates on both the Republican and Democratic side of things. On the Democratic side of things, we will most likely see Lt. Governor Dan McKee run since he is term-limited as well and is second in charge as the Lt. Governor which acts as a Vice-President would to a President but on the state level. We could also see in this potentially packed primary Secretary of State Nellie Gorbea who is also term-limited and is very popular in the state of Rhode Island and has had a lot of praise for how she has handled our elections and state archives for the past six years. General Treasurer Seth Magaziner is also speculated to run for Governor and has a lot of money in his campaign account to do so, not to mention Governor Raimondo was General Treasurer before becoming Governor herself, so maybe the trend can continue? There could easily be a lot more, but for this list, I will only include one more since when Providence Mayor, Jorge Elorza, who is also term-limited I should add, was asked this question in December of 2019 by Dan McGowan of The Boston Globe, he said he would make that decision around that time next year, basically next month since we are in November of 2020.

For the Republican side, there seem to be only three serious names that come to mind. First is Cranston Mayor Allan Fung, who has already run two unsuccessful Gubernatorial bids in 2014 and 2018, but hasn’t ruled out a possible third bid for 2022.

Besides Mayor Fung, Steve Laffey, has been speculated to run for Governor on the Republican side of things. Mayor Laffey, who was Mayor of Cranston from 2003-2007, ran an unsuccessful bid to primary then-Republican U.S. Senator Lincoln Chaffee in the 2006 midterm elections, is considering coming back to Rhode Island since, after that loss, he moved to Colorado. He also had an unsuccessful bid for the Republican nomination in Colorado’s 4th congressional district in 2014. Mayor Laffey is selling his property in Colorado it seems from a 2019 interview with the Providence Journal, and he just may be coming home to Rhode Island.

The third and final Republican on this list is Rhode Island House Minority Leader Blake Filippi who represents District 36 in the Rhode Island state house of representatives. Representative Filippi has been looked at as the future of the RI GOP, and he could very well be since he has been in the political spotlight fighting for things like school choice, line-item veto, and an opening of an Inspector General’s office. Not to mention he is more of a moderate Republican and in the state of Rhode Island, being moderate is key for any Republican who hopes to win in a statewide election since we are a very blue state that doesn’t really elect a lot of Republicans at the statewide level with the last Republican Governor being Donald Carcieri who served from 2003-2011.

Overall, the 2022 elections in Rhode Island are without a doubt going to bring a lot of new changes to the state, this article just covers the Gubernatorial election, but we haven’t even talked about the open offices of the Lieutenant Governor, Secretary of State, and General Treasurer. Not to mention that multiple open mayoral elections will occur, the biggest one being in the state’s capital, Providence, where we already have a potentially contested primary there, and we still haven’t even gone into the possibility of Rhode Island losing one of our two congressional seats and creating another potentially interesting primary between Congressman Cicilline (RI-1) and Congressman Langevin (RI-2) due to our population expected to drop under a million people after this year’s census is counted. It will be a fun election for voters and political nerds like myself, and I look forward to possibly covering each of these elections even with interviews hopefully accompanying them during my time at RIC and it would all be here on The Anchor.

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