Elorza hires top Dem staffer to oversee government affairs

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – The executive director of the Rhode Island Democratic Party is leaving his job for a position with the Elorza administration.

Jonathan Boucher, who has worked for the state Democratic Party since 2011, will serve as the city’s $51,000-a-year director of intergovernmental affairs, according to Evan England, the mayor’s press secretary. He starts on Thursday.

Boucher, 28, is well-known in political circles for his tireless work ethic, first as an organizer and later as the party’s executive director. A Warwick native who now resides in Providence, Boucher graduated from the University of Rhode Island in 2009. He previously worked as a deputy field director for Frank Caprio’s unsuccessful campaign for governor in 2010.

“He’s an extraordinarily hard worker,” Devin Driscoll, a Democratic political operative who now lives in Minnesota, told WPRI.com. “John has the right mix of tenacity and instinct that made him a great executive director and will make him a huge asset for the Elorza administration.”

Boucher’s new gig is no layup.

His role is to manage the relationship between the Elorza administration and the City Council and General Assembly. Although every elected official in Providence is a Democrat, the group doesn’t always see eye to eye. Boucher’s job is to serve as an intermediary, putting out fires before they end up in the media while pushing Elorza’s agenda.

Although titles haven’t always been the same, Boucher’s position was held previously by Matt Jerzyk, Will Farrell and Brian Hull over the last four years. Jerzyk is now legal counsel to House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello. Farrell is a lobbyist whose clients include the developer of the nursing center at the former South Street Power Station in Providence. Hull is now the director of community development for Elorza.

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

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