Elorza will not run for governor in 2022

Mayor Jorge Elorza talks with reporters outside Providence City Hall September 15, 2021, as he announced he will not run for RI governor in 2022. Photo by Steve Klamkin WPRO News

By Steve Klamkin WPRO News

Citing family concerns and the responsibilities of running the city, Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza said Wednesday that he will not run for governor of Rhode Island in 2022, and has no immediate plans to run for any other political office.

“It’s something that I’ve spent maybe the last year looking at,” he said of a potential run for the state’s highest office in an interview outside Providence City Hall Wednesday afternoon.

“But on balance, I discussed it with my wife. It’s just something that doesn’t make sense for me. And two things weighed heaviest. First thing is, I’m a dad of a three-year old son and I want to be there for him and make sure I’m taking care of my family responsibilities.

“But something that weighed very heavily as well is, as I started to build up on the campaign side, I saw that you just can’t do this job as mayor full time, and run a statewide campaign full time.”

“It doesn’t make sense for me right now,” the term-limited Elorza said.

“That’s not to say, who knows what the future holds in store? And, we’ll cross that bridge when we get there, but for right now I’m just focused on finishing off my last 15 months and finishing off strong,” Elorza said.

Elorza said said he arrived at his decision over the last six months, following discussions with his wife and strongest supporters, adding that the recent controversy over his appointment of his civilian recreation director, Michael Stephens as a major in the police department played no part in his thinking.

Elorza’s decision takes one Democratic candidate off the board in the 2022 race, and comes one day after General Treasurer Seth Magaziner, who is also term-limited announced that he would run for the Democratic nomination for governor.

Also in the running, incumbent Dan McKee, who was elevated to the governor’s office in March when Gina Raimondo left the governor’s office to become U.S. Commerce Secretary in President Joe Biden’s cabinet.

Also announced as candidates for the Democratic nomination for governor are Secretary of State Nellie Gorbea who is also term-limited, and Dr. Luis Daniel Muñoz, who ran unsuccessfully for governor as an independent in 2018.

Listen to an interview with Mayor Elorza as he explains his reason for pulling out of the governor’s race: