Rhode Island politics can be rollicking fun, especially when weeks like this last one come around. On Wednesday, a series of events unfolded that rewrote the outlook for November and shook up one of the state’s largest cities.
On the face of it, it was all very good news for Democratic Gov. Gina Raimondo. You could even call it a hat trick:
1. Former Secretary of State Matt Brown announced he will not run as an independent for governor, but as a Democrat. The odds are he will not topple Ms. Raimondo in the primary. But had he run as an independent, he might well have pulled away enough votes from her to elect Republican Allan Fung.
2. Former Gov. Lincoln Chafee, no fan of Ms. Raimondo, stunned everybody by expressing an interest in running in the Democratic primary for the U.S. Senate, not for governor. That’s one less headache for the governor, and one more for incumbent Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, a Democrat who already potentially faces a reasonably strong Republican challenger in former state Supreme Court Justice Robert Flanders.
3. Warwick Mayor Scott Avedisian, a moderate Republican who would have made a formidable independent candidate for governor, has announced he will leave City Hall to take a post as the new CEO of the Rhode Island Public Transit Authority. He should help the state there, since he did a good job as RIPTA chairman for four years.