Ashley Kalus, GOP business owner, to run for governor

Ashley Kalus announced her campaign for the Republican nomination for RI governor in a video posted to social media March 22, 2022

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Ashley Kalus, a businessperson who has never before sought political office, announced Tuesday that she is seeking the Republican nomination for governor of Rhode Island.

She is listed as an executive with Doctors Test Centers, which landed two multimillion dollar contracts with the state to administer coronavirus vaccines and tests across the state. She and her husband moved from Illinois, buying a home in Newport last May.

“Ask yourself: who has Rhode Island been changing for? Every day gets harder for working families,” she said in a video announcing her candidacy. “We’re getting killed at the pump, food prices are soaring, it costs more to heat our home, income is not matching inflation, the dream of owning a home is out of reach for many, and we pay more for health care and get less. As a mom of three school-aged boys, I understand these struggles.”

She listed her priorities as education, strengthening the economy, creating jobs, affordability, health care, the opioid crisis, infrastructure, affordable housing and taking care of the state’s most vulnerable residents.

In her announcement, Kalus touted her experience starting several businesses and creating jobs.

“Ashley believes you are a different type of leader when you start a business from nothing, build that business and help others achieve their own success,” her statement said.

Several Democrats are running including incumbent Daniel McKee; Secretary of State Nellie Gorbea; former Rhode Island Secretary of State Matt Brown; former CVS Health executive Helena Foulkes; and community activist Dr. Luis Daniel Muñoz.