In a special edition of "The Insiders," the Democratic candidates for lieutenant governor of Rhode Island square off in a spirited debate about the failings of the Rhode Island legislature, the cost of universal health care, the experience needed for the office and the struggles of small business in the state. Dan McKee, the incumbent, has served as lieutenant governor since 2015. Aaron Regunberg has served as a member of the Rhode Island House since 2015.
Peter Neronha, 54, is the former U.S. attorney for Rhode Island and the Democratic candidate for attorney general of Rhode Island. He is facing no primary or major-party opposition.
A Jamestown resident, he joined the U.S. attorney’s office in 2002 and served as U.S. attorney from September 2009 to March 2017, mainly under President Obama. He’s a graduate of Boston College and of Boston College Law School.
David Cicilline, a 57-year-old Democrat, has represented Rhode Island's First District in the U.S. House of Representatives since 2011.
Before that he was mayor of Providence for eight years, leaving behind a financial emergency that his successor, Angel Tavaras, called a “Category 5 hurricane.” Prior to that, he served in the Rhode Island House of Representatives for eight years. He was educated at Brown University and the Georgetown University Law Center.
Gordon van Welie, 56, is the president and chief executive officer of ISO-New England. He is in charge of making sure our electric grid works as it should and that New England has the energy it needs.
Before assuming that position in 2001, Mr. Van Welie served as a vice president at ISO New England. Before that he worked with Siemens Transmission and Distribution and held several positions at ESKOM, South Africa’s electric utility based in Johannesburg.
Ken Block, 52, is a two-time candidate for governor of Rhode Island and the head of the citizen's group Watchdog RI.
He is the founder and president of Simpatico Software Systems, of Cross Alert Systems Inc., and of the Kenrick Golf Company. He founded the Moderate Party of Rhode Island and was its candidate for governor in 2010. In 2014, he ran in the Republican primary for governor.
He has written numerous Commentary pieces in The Providence Journal about important issues confronting...
Frank J. Williams served as chief justice of the Rhode Island Supreme Court from 2001-2008. He is active in mediating major cases in the state.
Mr. Williams, 77, was born in Richmond Rhode Island to Italian immigrant parents. Educated at Cranston East High School and Boston University, he served as a U.S. Army captain in Germany and Vietnam.
He is well-known as a devotee of Abraham Lincoln. This fall the Lincoln Forum is honoring his 25 years of leadership of that group. He served with...
Trista Piccola, 50, is the director of the Rhode Island Department of Children Youth and Families.
Gov. Gina Raimondo hired her in early 2017. Before that she had 20 years of experience as a protective services case manager in Ohio and was head of child welfare services in Cleveland.
Thomas Tobin is the Roman Catholic bishop of Providence. Born in Pittsburgh, he was ordained as a priest in 1973 and has spent his life in service to the church. Pope John Paul II named him bishop of Providence in 2005. Now 70, Bishop Tobin sits on board of trustees of Providence College and Salve Regina University. He remains an avid Pittsburgh Steelers fan.
Joseph Trillo, 75, is an independent candidate for governor. A lifelong businessman, he served from 2001 to 2017 in the state House of Representatives, where he was deputy minority leader. He is a former Republican national committeeman.
Frank Caprio, 81, is a Providence municipal court judge whose traffic court sessions have become a viral sensation on social media, getting over 1.3 billion views. This fall, his sessions will be featured in the Fox TV series “Caught in Providence.”
Mr. Caprio is a senior partner with the law firm Caprio & Caprio. He is the former chairman of the Rhode Island Board of Governors for Higher Education. He is the father of five children, including former state Treasurer Frank Caprio and...
Allan Fung, 48, is the mayor of Cranston and a Republican candidate for governor.
Mr. Fung was first elected mayor in 2008, becoming the first Chinese American ever elected to the position in Rhode Island. He won his fourth term in 2016, by a landslide margin of 2-to-1. Four years ago, he lost a run for governor against Gina Raimondo by only four points, and might well have won had a third candidate not been in the race.
Our guest today is Stefan Pryor, 46, the Commerce secretary of Rhode Island.
Before coming to Rhode Island, he was the commissioner of education for Connecticut. Before that, he was the deputy mayor and director of economic and housing development for the City of Newark. And before that, he was president of the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation, created in the aftermath of 9/11 to plan and coordinate the rebuilding and economic revitalization of Lower Manhattan, including the World...
Our guest today is somebody who has made his mark on Rhode Island in a very short time, Iftikhar Ahmad. Mr. Ahmad, 51, is president and CEO of the Rhode Island Aiport Corporation, a position he has held since late 2016. He oversees T.F. Green International Airport.
Before that, Mr. Ahmad was director of aviation at Louis Armstrong International Airport. He previously worked for Houston's Department of Aviation, the Metropolitan Nashville Airport Authority, the City of Dayton's Department...
Jack Reed, a Democrat, is Rhode Island’s senior U.S. senator.
Mr. Reed, 68, may be the most popular politician in the state. In a poll released this month, 57 percent of respondents rated his job performance excellent or good.
He has served in this position since 1997. Before that, between 1991 and 1997, he was a member of the U.S. House. He is the ranking Democratic member of the Senate Armed Services Committee and a member of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense, which...
Gordon Wood, of Providence, is one of the nation’s leading historians of the founding era. A professor of history emeritus at Brown University, he was the recipient of the 1993 Pulitzer Prize for History for his book “The Radicalism of the American Revolution.” His book “The Creation of the American Republic” won the Bancroft Prize. And, in 2010, President Obama awarded him the National Humanities Medal.
His new book “Friends Divided: John Adams and Thomas Jefferson” has been widely...
Seth Magaziner, 34, was elected Rhode Island's general treasurer in 2014 and is seeking another term this fall.
He grew up in Bristol, the son of political adviser Ira Magaziner, and was educated at Milton Academy. He received his bachelor’s degree from Brown and his master's degree in business administration from Yale. He taught elementary school for a time in Louisiana before coming back to work for Trillium Asset Management in Boston.
Patricia Morgan is the minority leader of the Rhode Island House of Representatives and a Republican gubernatorial candidate.
A resident of West Warwick, she was first elected to the House in 2010. She is a former chair of the Rhode Island Republican Party.
U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, D-Rhode Island, has served in that office since January 2007. He was recently named to the Finance Committee, one of the Senate’s most powerful panels. Before that, he was attorney general of Rhode Island and U.S. attorney for this district.
The Mayor of Providence, Jorge Elorza defeated a twice-convicted felon in 2014 to win the seat. He has served for nearly three years and is up for re-election in 2018. Mayor Elorza's parents immigrated from Guatemala in 1975.
He attended Providence schools, the Community College of Rhode Island, The University of Rhode Island, and then Harvard Law School.