RI Dems tap Providence purchasing director to run party

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Attorney Tolulope Kevin Olasanoye is leaving his job as Providence’s associate director of purchasing to serve as executive director of the Rhode Island Democratic Party, the party announced Tuesday.

Olasanoye, 32, will be the first African-American to run the party when he takes over June 7. In a statement, Democratic Party Chairman Rep. Joseph McNamara called Olasanoye a “gifted and highly respected attorney who has a deep appreciation of what’s at stake in the Democratic Party, and for this state and nation.”

“He comes to us with experience in government – particularly with service to women, minorities and people with disabilities- and has recruited and trained volunteers in national and statewide campaigns, including Connecticut’s Obama for America, and was a staff assistant to U.S. Senator Jack Reed in his Washington, D.C. office,” McNamara said.

Rhode Island Public Radio was first to report Olasanoye was leaving the city.

The state Democrats have been without an executive director since Jon Boucher left to become Mayor Jorge Elorza’s director of intergovernmental affairs in 2015. Boucher has since taken a position as chief of staff to New York City Councilman Stephen Levin.

Olasanoye is one of the most well-liked employees in City Hall. He joined the law department in 2012 before taking the job as head of purchasing in 2015. He is a graduate of the University of Rhode Island and Roger Williams Law School.

“I am really excited about the opportunity to lead the party into the next election cycle and to be responsible for putting the building blocks together to be successful going forward,” said Olasanoye.

Continue the discussion on Facebook

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