PAWTUCKET – With a school construction site as a backdrop, State Treasurer Seth Magaziner officially launched his candidacy for governor on Tuesday by pledging to “do what we need to do to make our state stronger.”
Without specifically mentioning any of his competitors for the state’s top political prize, including incumbent Dan McKee, Magaziner said:
“I’m running because I know the only way to rebuild Rhode Island’s economy is to move beyond the cronyism and old-fashioned politics that have marked the State House for too long.”
A preliminary text of his speech went further, citing the need to eliminate “the old-fashioned politicians who lean in all directions, and their cronies who think a job in government is the opportunity to get rich and rich. to enrich themselves as well as their friends “.
Who was he thinking of? Magaziner left the press conference without answering questions from reporters, in a car registered in Florida.
(The following explanation: “The Treasurer was driven to the event by Campaign staff member Elisa Ramirez in her car. She recently moved to Rhode Island to work for the campaign and is in the process of upgrading day the registration of his vehicle. “)
Later that day, in a written response to a question from the Journal he was referring to when he spoke of “cronyism” and “old school politics”, he said:
“Articles released by the governor’s office in recent weeks remind us that Rhode Island still has work to do to end the culture of insider politics – something Treasurer Magaziner is determined to do.”
He also berated the governor for failing to make coronavirus vaccination mandatory “for all state and school employees to help keep people safe.”
Magaziner joins limited-term Secretary of State Nellie Gorbea in the Democratic field, as well as Luis Daniel Muñoz, a doctor who won 1.7% of the vote to run for governor as an independent in 2018 ( Muñoz “is not licensed” to practice medicine in Rhode Island, according to the state health department.
McKee has yet to officially announce he is running for governor in 2022. He automatically became lieutenant governor in March when Gina Raimondo resigned mid-term for a job in Washington.
Magaziner pleaded for his election as the next governor of Rhode Island this way:
“I am running for governor because I believe the economic future of our state is at stake and we need to build a new, modern and resilient economy that gives everyone a real chance to succeed.”
His checklist: “Create New Jobs, Improve Our Schools and Move to a Clean Energy Economy”.
Among those present at his press conference: the leaders of the unions of ironworkers, carpenters and painters and glaziers.
Magaziner said the Rhode Islanders deserve a governor “who will make decisions about the health and safety of children in schools based on science and the advice of doctors and health experts, not the cries of loudest voices that equate freedom with the license to put other people’s children at risk. “
Telegraphing his progressive credentials, he also said: “I run to do what I did as treasurer: defend a woman’s right to choose with all the tools at my disposal, stand up to the gun lobby to fire and support common sense gun safety laws. “
Without giving further details on how he plans to expand the free community college tuition program started by his political mentor, Raimondo, he said: made in the treasurer’s office to revamp the CollegeBoundfund into one top-rated education savings programs in the country. (He said he would reveal his plans at a later date.)
He also promised to “transfer Rhode Island … the Act on Climate law, which state legislators passed and which McKee signed this year.
The 38-year-old son of Clinton-era health guru Ira Magaziner, who hails from a Bristol waterfront neighborhood – and invested $ 801,500 in personal loans in his first campaign – Magaziner has sought to attract l attention to the humblest and the workers. class debut of his grandfathers. One was from Ireland; the other from present-day Ukraine.
“My two grandfathers were the sons of immigrants who grew up in poverty before serving in World War II. Grandpa Bob was a Marine who served in the Pacific, and Grandpa Louis was in the army in Europe When they returned home they were able to get good jobs – Bob as a metal worker and Louis as an accountant.
“These jobs weren’t glamorous, but with these jobs my grandfathers were able to buy houses, start a family and send their kids to college.
“Their kids, my parents, started a business here in Rhode Island and had great success,” he said of Telesis, a business consulting company his mother and father founded in Providence. in the early 1980s.
(Asked about his father’s absence in Tuesday’s announcement, Magaziner said: he “is in good health but is traveling out of state for work.”)
“Each candidate makes promises on building a stronger economy. But how do you know who is actually going to deliver? By looking at the file, to see who actually did it,” he said.
Magaziner held its announcement at the construction site of the new Henry J. Winters Elementary School in Pawtucket to draw attention to its role in promoting $ 1.4 billion in state-backed construction loans.
He described the Winters Project as “one of 176 schools in Rhode Island that are being rebuilt or transformed by the school building program that I co-chaired.”
“Not only will these school building projects benefit more than 90,000 students per year, but they also put more than 20,000 people into well-paying jobs.”
He also touted his role as state treasurer by “moving millions of dollars of state money to local community banks and credit unions to support their small business loans,” and distributing money from the State Infrastructure Bank for things like solar panels on public buildings and LED street lights.
He also chaired the state pension fund at a time of extraordinary growth.
As the Wall Street Journal reported last month, public pension funds made record gains in the second quarter of this year.
In August, the Treasury Department led by Magaziner announced that the state’s pension fund had reached an all-time high of $ 10.34 billion, after gaining more than $ 2 billion in assets over the course of the year. ‘last year.