Mayor Taveras: I knew I wasn’t running for re-election

Providence Mayor Angel Taveras sits at his desk in City Hall. (Photo by Dan McGowan/WPRI)

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Providence Mayor Angel Taveras said Thursday he made his decision to not seek re-election even before he announced his campaign for governor last fall.

Taveras lost the Democratic primary for governor to state Treasurer Gina Raimondo on Sept. 9. Raimondo went on to defeat Republican Allan Fung and Moderate Robert Healey in November’s general election.

“I’m not your typical politician,” Taveras said during a wide-ranging interview in his office at City Hall. “If there are some decisions that you look back on now and say didn’t make political sense, now you know why.”

Taveras said he told campaign strategist J.B. Poersch he would not seek a second term as mayor before hiring the expert political operative in March of 2013. He didn’t officially launch his campaign for governor until the end of October, although he was considered a top contender for the job for much of that year.

Taveras said his decision to not run for re-election “liberated me to continue to do what I thought was right without worrying about the political consequences.” He said he had the opportunity to make deals that may have helped his campaign for governor, but he tried to focus on what he believed was best for the city.

“I sleep well at night,” Taveras said.

Despite the outcome, Taveras said he had no regrets about running for the state’s top job, even though he was significantly outspent by Raimondo and third-place finisher Clay Pell. He also said he is leaving the city better than he found it for incoming Mayor Jorge Elorza, who will be sworn in Jan. 5.

So what’s next for Taveras?

For one, late nights with his newborn son, Sebastian. Taveras and his wife, Farah, welcomed their son into the world Dec. 2. Their daughter, Farah Rose, turns three later this month.

Taveras said he expects to “have something more to say soon” about his next job, but indicated he plans to enter the private sector. He said he’d like to stay in Rhode Island, but “I have some opportunities to do some different things.”

As for his political future, Taveras said he isn’t thinking about running for office again.

“I wouldn’t put money on it,” he said. “But you never say never.”

Taveras will appear on WPRI 12’s Newsmakers Sunday morning. A full look at his four years as mayor will be published on WPRI.com Friday.

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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