VP Pence scheduled to visit RI on Friday

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Vice President Mike Pence is expected to visit Rhode Island on Friday to speak at the National Governors Association’s summer meeting, an updated schedule shows.

The schedule says Pence will deliver an “Opening Keynote” speech during a special NGA session that starts Friday at 1:15 p.m., before Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau delivers the keynote address. The event will take place at the Rhode Island Convention Center in Providence.

The White House declined to confirm Pence’s plans, but said his official schedule will be released in the coming days. Trudeau has already confirmed his participation.

More than 30 of the nation’s governors plus hundreds of staffers, lobbyists and journalists are expected in Providence for the NGA meeting, which will take place from Thursday through Saturday. Democratic Gov. Gina Raimondo has said she hopes hosting the event will bolster Rhode Island tourism.

Other big-name speakers expected at the NGA meeting include U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price, Tesla CEO Elon Musk, CVS CEO Larry Merlo, former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer and famed GOP strategist Frank Luntz.

The last time the NGA summer meeting was held in Rhode Island was 2001.

Pence last visited Rhode Island in October when he was still a candidate, during the height of the Trump campaign crisis over the “Access Hollywood” tape. He attended a fundraiser in Newport but made no public appearances.

Ted Nesi (tnesi@wpri.com) covers politics and the economy for WPRI.com. He writes Nesi’s Notes on Saturdays and hosts Executive Suite. Follow him on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram