Buddy Cianci to run campaign out of former Hillary Clinton office

Buddy Cianci's campaign headquarters at 175 Broad Street. (photo by Dan McGowan/WPRI)
Buddy Cianci's campaign headquarters at 175 Broad Street. (photo by Dan McGowan/WPRI)

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – What do Vincent A. “Buddy” Cianci Jr. and Hillary Clinton have in common?

A campaign headquarters.

Cianci, the six-time former mayor of Providence who is again running to lead Rhode Island’s capital city, plans to open his campaign’s central office at 175 Broad St., the same location that housed Clinton’s Rhode Island office during her unsuccessful 2008 campaign for president.

Cianci’s campaign staff will move into the building next week, but the former mayor isn’t expected to hold a grand opening until after the Sept. 9 Democratic primary, according to campaign manager Charles Mansolillo. A contractor was installing air conditioning when a reporter visited the site Thursday morning.

Because they’re running as independents, Cianci, Lorne Adrain and Jeffrey Lemire won’t appear on the ballot until the November election. They’ll take on Republican Daniel Harrop and the winner of the Democratic primary between Jorge Elorza, Brett Smiley, Michael Solomon, Chris Young and Reinaldo Catone.

Aside from a short stretch as Clinton’s campaign headquarters, the building, formerly home of a local branch of the Boy Scouts of America, has mostly sat vacant for much of the last decade. Built in 1964, it was purchased in 2004 by 56 Associates Management LLC and Broadway-Tobey LLC for $1.8 million and is now worth $1.1 million, according to the city tax assessor’s website.

Cianci’s campaign headquarters is just down the road from Elorza’s office at 190 Broad St. Smiley’s campaign office is located at 1 Park Row downtown. Solomon’s main location is 986 Broad St. Adrain’s central office is at 60 Valley St.

Cianci announced his plan to run for mayor in June, at least six months after the leading Democratic candidates entered the race. Mansolillo said the campaign has been meeting with “shakers and movers” and raising money as its puts its team together.

Mansolillo has an interesting history in city politics.

The 65-year-old was elected to the state House of Representatives as a Democrat in 1973, but his seat was eliminated a year later by redistricting and he decided not to run against Matt Smith, a future House speaker.

In 1974, Mansolillo ran for Providence City Council as a Democrat, but supported Cianci over incumbent Mayor Joseph Doorley. While he was still on the council, he was named Cianci’s chief of staff in 1981 and did not seek re-election a year later. In 1984, Cianci was forced to resign from the mayor’s office after pleading no contest to assaulting a man in his East Side home.

Mansolillo ran unsuccessfully for mayor as a Republican against incumbent Democrat Joseph Paolino in 1986, and later became Cianci’s city solicitor after he was re-elected mayor in 1990. More recently, he supported Democrat Steven Costantino’s unsuccessful campaign for mayor in 2010.

Dan McGowan ( dmcgowan@wpri.com ) covers politics, education and the city of Providence for WPRI.com. Follow him on Twitter: @danmcgowan

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