Almonte First into the Democratic Gubernatorial Void?
Former Auditor General Ernest A. Almonte said Monday that he is “seriously considering” a run for governor in 2014.I know it seems tres early to be discussing the 2014 Governor’s race, but one unknown that is going to significantly impact the fate of pension reform in Rhode Island and the state’s fiscal health in general is the question of who’s going to be the Democratic candidate for Governor in 2014.
Almonte, who stepped down in 2010 after 15 years as auditor general, said he is talking with friends and associates about the possibility and expects to make a decision later this year….He said he would most likely run as a Democrat.
If Governor Lincoln Chafee maintains about the level of support for pension reform that he has shown so far (though with all due respect to Jim Baron, I want to see the final version of municipal legislation he proposes, before giving him full plaudits for tackling the issue) and runs for a second term as an I or a D, and either Ernest Almonte or Gina Raimondo becomes a credible gubernatorial candidate on the Democratic side, it will make it significantly harder for opponents of the current version of pension reform to propel someone into the top tier of candidates. And if there’s no Rhode Island Democrat willing and/or able to push a don’t-worry, the system can be fixed with higher taxes and reamortization message in the Governor’s race, chances increase of the changes currently being put into place taking hold.
The question accelerated by a potential Almonte candidacy is whether there is anyone from the traditional spend first, figure out how to pay for it later wing of the Democratic party in Rhode Island with the stature to run for Governor of Rhode Island.