Former CVS executive announces run for Rhode Island governor

Helena Foulkes, former CVS executive is seen in a video posted to Twitter to announce her candidacy for the 2022 Democratic nomination for RI Governor on October 13, 2021.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — A former CVS executive announced Wednesday she’s running for governor in Rhode Island, jumping into an already crowded Democratic field.

Helena Foulkes touted her 25 years of experience at CVS in her announcement video, stating that she had nearly every leadership job at the company, including being president of the retail business. She said she was really proud of the decision to stop selling tobacco.

“I never thought about running for public office but COVID changed everything,” she said. “I’ve lived my life in service of others, our employees, our customers, our community and my family. And I want to use that experience to help Rhode Island through the biggest period of both crisis and opportunity we’ve ever had.”

Rhode Island Secretary of State Nellie Gorbea, Rhode Island General Treasurer Seth Magaziner and Matt Brown, a former Rhode Island secretary of state, are running for governor next year. Incumbent Gov. Daniel McKee, who took office in March, is expected to run. Dr. Luis Daniel Muñoz, who ran for governor as an independent in 2018, has said he’ll run again.

Foulkes, 57, said it’s important to find new ways for companies to invest in Rhode Island and help existing companies find new markets. She said the state needs to be “on the leading edge of climate change, so that the green economy is a driver of growth.”

She acknowledged having little name recognition, opening her video by saying, “Now I know many of you don’t know me and I hope that changes in the coming months.” She currently shares leadership duties as a co-CEO at BrightSpark Capitol Corp., an acquisition company in the health, wellness and beauty sectors.

No Republicans have announced plans to run yet.