Providence Councilwoman Sabina Matos eyeing mayoral run in ’14

By Dan McGowan

Yet another Providence City Council member is planning to run for mayor if Angel Taveras decides to run governor in 2014.

Less than a month after Council President Michael Solomon told WPRI.com that he’ll “definitely be a candidate” if Taveras makes the jump, Ward 15 Councilwoman Sabina Matos confirmed that she too is eyeing the city’s top job.

“I’m going to support Mayor Taveras, but if he runs for governor, I’m in,” Matos told WPRI.com.

Matos, a Dominican-born Democrat who represents Valley and Olneyville, has quickly made a name for herself since unseating veteran Councilwoman Josephine DiRuzzo in 2010. Last year, she was appointed to the Ways and Means Committee, which has replaced the Finance Committee the most powerful council committee.

She said she’d like to be mayor because she’s concerned about the city’s struggling neighborhoods and wants people to feel safe when they come to Providence.

“There’s only so much I can do as a councilwoman,” Matos said.

Matos joins a growing list of potential candidates if the popular Taveras chooses to run for governor. In addition to Solomon, Housing Court Judge Jorge Elorza, House Speaker Gordon Fox, newly elected state Rep. John Lombardi, Meeting Street School CEO John Kelly and Central Falls school administrator Victor Capellan are all rumored to have interest in running for mayor. Former Mayor Vincent “Buddy” Cianci, whose contract is winding down at WPRO-AM, is also believed to be considering a comeback.

Matos acknowledged that she’ll likely face an uphill battle when it comes to fundraising —she had roughly $1,300 in her campaign account as of Dec. 31— but she noted that Taveras was also outspent in his Democratic primary in 2010.

“It will have to be a grassroots campaign,” Matos said. “I’ll be the underdog, but I like being the underdog.”

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