PROVIDENCE – Former CVS Health Corp. executive Helena B. Foulkes, a Democrat, has announced her candidacy in Rhode Island’s 2022 gubernatorial election.
In a video announcement on Wednesday, Foulkes said that the impact of the pandemic, and “Trumpian divisiveness,” spurred her to throw her hat in the ring. She called for unity and said she intends to rebuild Rhode Island and its economy, with a focus being placed on jobs, education and health care.
“This is a time of both great crisis and opportunity in the Ocean State, and I am eager to spearhead the change that must come,” said Foulkes. “We need a leader who will pull people together and make hard decisions, and wake up every morning thinking about what’s right for all Rhode Islanders.”
“This is how I have always led; I know how to do this,” she said. “Our state is in a period of great crisis and opportunity and it’s time to pull together, think boldly, and get things done.”
Foulkes said she spent 25 year at CVS in Woonsocket, the fourth largest company in the country, rising through the ranks in leadership roles to become president of CVS Pharmacy and executive vice president CVS Health, a position she held from January 2014 to January 2018. The job involved leading 2,000 employees and overseeing $80 billion in company sales, she said.
Foulkes left CVS in 2018 to become CEO of Hudson Bay Co.
“I have real experience creating growth,” she said. “We need to find new ways for companies, both large and small, to invest in Rhode Island. And we need to help our companies find new markets for their products, both here and abroad.”
Foulkes said that she is aware that she is not well known to Rhode Islanders, but hopes that will change in the coming months.
Foulkes is the fifth Democrat to join the field in the run for the governor’s office, challenging incumbent Gov. Dan Daniel J. McKee. She is also running against Secretary of State Nellie Gorbea, General Treasurer Seth Magaziner, former Secretary of State Matt Brown, and second-time gubernatorial candidate Dr. Luis Daniel Muñoz.
Cassius Shuman is a PBN staff writer. Contact him at Shuman@PBN.com. You may also follow him on Twitter @CassiusShuman.
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