By PBN Staff
By PBN Staff
PROVIDENCE – Clay Pell officially announced his intent to run for governor of Rhode Island at a campaign kickoff event on Tuesday after months of speculation about a gubernatorial bid from the grandson of the late U.S. Sen. Claiborne Pell.
In an announcement video posted on his campaign website late Monday, Pell highlighted his experience as an officer in the U.S. Coast Guard and former director of strategic planning for President Barack Obama’s national security team, as well as his work to promote foreign-language learning as a deputy assistant secretary within the U.S. Department of Education.
“Over the last few months, I’ve traveled across our state and have heard from so many people who are frustrated and who are worried about the future,” said Pell in the video. “I decided to run for governor because I believe that I can help to restore hope and economic growth in our state.”
Pell said he would not accept contributions from PACs or state lobbyists as a candidate for governor, and that building Rhode Island’s economy would be the first priority of his campaign.
“The truth is, there are no easy ways to create jobs and get Rhode Island’s economy back on track,” he said.
Pell, who is married to two-time Olympic figure skating medalist Michelle Kwan, joins Providence Mayor Angel Taveras and General Treasurer Gina M. Raimondo in the Democratic primary campaign for governor. Republican candidates include Cranston Mayor Alan Fung and Ken Block, who founded Rhode Island’s Moderate Party but will run for governor as a Republican.
In September, Gov. Lincoln D. Chafee announced he would not seek re-election, choosing to focus instead on the “fundamentals” of infrastructure, education and workforce development.