PVD's Political Scene Heats Up

More candidates emerge


Things are beginning to heat up politically and we’re happy to report that a group of East Side candidates promises to be right in the heart of the action. Six Mayoral candidates have already declared and three of them are East Side residents.

Democrats Lorne Adrain of Fox Point and Brett Smiley of College Hill have already started criss-crossing the city in search of support despite the actual sign up period still being several weeks away. The primary in September will sort things out dramatically as the winner will be heavily favored in his race against Republican Dan Harrop. City Council President Michael Solomon and Judge Jorge Elorza are both determined to make inroads in the East Side vote as well. The latter has revamped his staff with some young, but proven, political operatives so expect more visibility from him.

Meanwhile three candidates have just officially announced their desire to succeed Gordon Fox in Representative District 4 (Mt. Hope/Summit and part of the traditional East Side). It isn’t often that a seat opens up, so interest in the race is high. For two of the candidates, Aaron Regunberg and Heather Tow-Yick, this will be their first attempt at elected office. Miriam Ross, who ran an determined campaign as an Independent against Rhoda Perry four years ago, will be running as a Democrat this time and hopes the second time will be the charm. Meanwhile it seems likely there will be a Republican candidate emerging as well. Tara Pinsky, head of the City’s Republican Party, asserts there will be and is not ruling out that it might be her. “I’ve always had interest,” she notes but stopped short of committing. Fun times comin’ in District 4.

Excitement’s brewing in the East Side’s Senate District as well. Gayle Goldin took over the Senate seat that had been occupied for years by Rhoda Perry and now will face her first challenge as an incumbent. Chris Wall, a former television newscaster turned real estate broker, has been quietly working the district, now has declared publicly for the office. Both will be running as Democrats. No Republican or Independent has announced so far.

Meanwhile, there has been some speculation over whether longtime representative Edith Ajello might want to pack it in after she and many of her fellow legislative reformers got demoted after the resignation of Gordon Fox as Speaker.

“Definitely not,” she assures her constituents. “I was a member of the minority wing of the Democratic Party in the House when I started so I’m used it.” Ajello had been head of the powerful judiciary committee until she was forced out by the new Speaker Nick Mattiello. Her district includes Benefit Street, much of College Hill and the Brown campus.
There still are a few weeks before ac- tual declaration time so things remain fluid. Next issue we’ll share what we know as the countdown begins.