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Elorza Flip-Flops, Backs Lt. Gov. Challenger Regunberg After Refusing to Support Ranglin-Vassell

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Elorza Flip-Flops, Backs Lt. Gov. Challenger Regunberg After Refusing to Support Ranglin-Vassell

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Monday, March 19, 2018

GoLocalProv News Team

 

Elorza Flip-Flops, Backs Lt. Gov. Challenger Regunberg After Refusing to Support Ranglin-Vassell

In 2016, Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza announced his support of then-House Majority Leader John DeSimone, the conservative Democrat facing  -- and ultimately losing to -- progressive Democrat Marcia Ranglin-Vassell. DeSimone was a strong NRA supporter and was targeted by gun control advocates.

On Monday, Elorza shed his "incumbent" argument and announced his support for progressive State Representative Aaron Regunberg in the Democratic primary for Lieutenant Governor against Dan McKee. 

When responding to why he supported the challenger in this race, Elorza cited deep personal ties with Regunberg as well as "shared values."

Elorza refused to respond to why then he would not have supported Ranglin-Vassell versus the conservative DeSimone who had taken political contributions from the NRA.

Questions again arise about Elorza’s lack of support for minority candidates. A GoLocal investigation in 2015 found that nearly all of Elorza's senior appointees were white -- department directors and top staffers. He has appointed some people of color to junior staff positions.

As GoLocal reported:

Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza promised a new era and inclusion, but his top appointments to top-level management positions in the administration are all white.

The appointments stand in stark contrast to the City of Providence which is less than 50% white, according to the latest Census data from 2010 -- which should see significant change in the next count. 

"Where is the diversity at the top Elorza Administration? There's none," said NAACP Providence Branch President Jim Vincent.  "I need to talk with him.  He needs to understand the politics, or he won't be reelected."

Elorza recently appointed Russell Knight to head up the Department of Public Works, and East Sider Wendy Nilsson to the Parks Departments (amidst questions as to her qualifications).  Elorza's top two aides -- Chief of Staff Tony Simon and Chief Operating Officer and former opponent-turned-supporter Brett Smiley -- make over $250,000 combined.  

Since that article appeared both Simon and Smiley left city employ and they have been replaced a number of times — both of their subsequent appointees were white.

Money Play

At the end of the fourth quarter of 2016, Regunberg -- who has deep national progressive ties -- had over $275,000 cash on-hand; incumber McKee listed just over $125,000. 

 

Related Slideshow: GoLocal: Benchmark Poll, October 2017

Elorza Flip-Flops, Backs Lt. Gov. Challenger Regunberg After Refusing to Support Ranglin-Vassell

Sponsor: GoLocalProv

Sample: N=403

Rhode Island General Election Voters Margin of Error: +/- 4.9% at 95% Confidence Level

Interviewing Period: October 9-11, 2017

Mode: Landline (61%) and Mobile (39%)

Telephone Directed by: John Della Volpe, SocialSphere, Inc.

Elorza Flip-Flops, Backs Lt. Gov. Challenger Regunberg After Refusing to Support Ranglin-Vassell

Are you registered to vote at this address?

Yes: 100%

Elorza Flip-Flops, Backs Lt. Gov. Challenger Regunberg After Refusing to Support Ranglin-Vassell

When it comes to voting, do you consider yourself to be affiliated with the Democratic Party, the Republican Party, Moderate, or Unaffiliated with a major party?

Unaffiliated: 49%

Democrat: 32%

Republican: 15%

Moderate: .4%

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