Nellie Gorbea mulling run for sec. of state

By Dan McGowan

Add Nellie Gorbea to the growing list of potential candidates for secretary of state.

Gorbea, who currently serves as executive director of HousingWorks RI, told she is giving “serious thought” to joining outgoing Democratic Party Chairman Ed Pacheco and Newport businessman Guillaume de Ramel in the race to replace the term-limited Ralph Mollis next year.

“A lot of people have been asking if I’m considering it,” Gorbea told “I’m looking into it. I’m having thoughtful conversations.”

Gorbea, a Democrat, is a veteran in local politics, having served as a top aide to former Secretary of State Matt Brown and as president of the Rhode Island Latino Political Action Committee (RILPAC). As head of Housing Works RI, she helped craft last year’s successful bond referendum campaign that generated $25 million for affordable housing in the state.

“I’ve always tried to find was to help Rhode Island,” she said.

A native of Puerto Rico, Gorbea served as an economic adviser to Puerto Rican Gov. Pedro Rossello and has an undergraduate degree from Princeton University and a master’s degree from Columbia University.

Both Pacheco and de Ramel have jumped out to slight head starts in fundraising compared with Gorbea, who hasn’t filed to run for the office yet. Pacheco had $10,300 in his war chest as of March 31 while de Ramel reported having $14,900 cash on hand. Republican Catherine Taylor –who nearly knocked off Mollis in 2010 and now serves in the Chafee administration— is also expected to run for the office.

Dan McGowan ( ) covers politics, education and the city of Providence for Follow him on Twitter: @danmcgowan

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