Fung, Robitaille, Block may run for gov against Dems, Chafee

The list of Rhode Island politicians seriously considering a run for governor in 2014 is getting longer.

Cranston Mayor Allan Fung, former candidate John Robitaille and Moderate Party founder Ken Block all suggested in interviews with Tuesday that they could make a bid for the state’s highest office.

They join three Democrats – Treasurer Gina Raimondo, Providence Mayor Angel Taveras and former Auditor General Ernie Almonte – on the list of individuals who may be on the ballot in 2014. (Almonte has already launched his campaign.) And of course there’s also incumbent Gov. Lincoln Chafee, an independent who says he expects to run for a second term.

Republican Fung, mayor of the state’s third-largest city, has a bigger campaign war chest than anyone else in the GOP and is running unopposed for a third term this November.

“It’s an honor to be considered in the discussion for that,” Fung said. “I’m privileged to be able to serve another four years, if I don’t stumble in some way between now and November. I am happy for now to be undertaking that third term for mayor, and who knows what the future will hold?”

He added: “I’m humbled that people are considering me and the work that I’ve done for any type of higher office.”

Robitaille lost the 2010 governor’s race to Chafee by just 8,660 votes and is widely expected to seek a rematch. He said he may put together an exploratory committee after this November’s election but wouldn’t go further than that. “It’s way too early,” he said.

Robitaille dismissed the idea that he’ll be at a disadvantage because he hasn’t begun raising money, unlike Raimondo, who is quickly approaching nearly $1 million in the bank. “It doesn’t matter to me how many people jump into this race and how much money they raise – that’s not going to scare me off if I want to run,” he said.

“You can’t spend $2 million in Rhode Island,” he added. “It’s a single media market. … Nobody pays attention, truthfully, until after Labor Day other than the policy wonks and people interested in politics.”

Robitaille also laid out a reason he might decide against running – if the General Assembly’s makeup stays largely the same this fall despite the state’s high unemployment rate and other problems. He said the state’s governor’s office is one of the weakest in the country.

Another Republican – Warwick Mayor Scott Avedisian – wasn’t immediately available for comment. He is a potential candidate for lieutenant governor, though some Republicans remain bitter about his endorsement of Chafee over Robitaille two years ago.

The man many Republicans blame for Robitaille’s loss in 2010 – Moderate Party founder Ken Block – is another politician with no money in his campaign account who says he’s contemplating another run.

“I don’t know yet – I honest-to-God don’t know,” Block said. “It’s one of those things where it’s a family decision and it’s a professional decision. … I still have two young kids, so there’s some serious negotiations going on in the Block house right now.”

He added: “I would run it differently. … You can’t jump in in February of the year of the election.”

• Related: Taveras sees ‘an opportunity to think about’ gov run next year (Aug. 7)

6 thoughts on “Fung, Robitaille, Block may run for gov against Dems, Chafee

  1. Fung, the property tax man. Yes I know all the Fung lovers will use the usual he inherited it from Mayor Traficante, but he did nothing to solve the City problems. Cranston taxes are so high, and have only increased since this fraud has taken office. Get ready Rhode Island, Al Fung will blame the the mess as far back as Governor Notte. Get your clown pants on the circus is ready to start.

  2. The Libertarian Party of Rhode Island is currently seeking a sincere libertarian, preferably with a credible resume, to be our 2014 Libertarian candidate for Governor of Rhode Island. We also are seeking as many other believers in individual rights, personal responsibility, and sincere respect for the coequal rights of all other individuals as we can find to be our Libertarian candidates for other federal, state, and local elective offices. All potential Libertarian candidates must very clearly demonstrate a thorough knowledge of our core libertarian principles, and values. Any other individuals who may ever attempt to hijack our “party of principle” will be actively resisted, and campaigned against.

  3. John Robitaille is part of the Don Carcieri regime. Not a good choice for a state that is trying to get out of a huge mess, especially 38 Studios. I agree with Mr. B’s comment about Fung. Gina Raimondo has proven she is not Governor material. Angel Tavares lacks experience for the job. Ernest Almonte may have a chance, but I’m not familiar with his leadership abilities. And Chafee, I believe he will not be re-elected. Moderate Party Block I know nothing about. I would have to learn more about the Moderate party and their history with elected officials.
    Lets get away from the two party system and get some qualified front runners with no ties. Individuality is what I want in a Governor. Someone who will represent the people, not their personal interests. Take care of the taxpayer and not a political party or agenda. Someone who has the leadership skills and ideas to move Rhode Island into a state that will be looked at as number one in innovation and leaership.

  4. To many people running again.This is how the Missing Linc won the first time.Linc wins again the state will become 75 percent Hispanic.Crime rate will be sky high.And unemployment will hit 20 percent.

  5. Joe you couldn’t be more wrong! John Robitaille worked as Communications Director under Don Carcieri for 2 years. Do you know anything else about him? Did you know while in the military he received one of the top honors in the nation. Did you know he was a small business owner? Did you know he was on the Board at Bradley Hospital. I’ll bet you have never talked to or met the man. Because John Robitaille surely represents the people and not his own personal interests. I suggest you do your homework before you trash someone you know nothing about.

    You want individuality in a Governor? How’s that working for you now under Chafee? My guess is that you are one of the voters who does no research and keeps electing the same people every election.

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