Progressive candidate says he’ll run for RI governor

Matt Brown is seen in a 2019 file photo by Steve Klamkin WPRO News


PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — A former Rhode Island secretary of state said Wednesday he’s running for governor again in the hopes of “overhauling” the entire state government.

Democrat Matt Brown said in a campaign launch video that Rhode Island is run by “the most corrupt political machine in America,” and spoke of “a revolution.” He’s running with Democratic state Sen. Cynthia Mendes for lieutenant governor and a slate of 50 progressive candidates.

Brown, 52, of Providence, lost his previous bid for governor in 2018 when he challenged former Democratic Gov. Gina Raimondo in the primary. He served a single term as secretary of state from 2003 to 2007. Mendes, 41, of East Providence, was elected to the Senate in 2020.

The platform for their Rhode Island Political Cooperative includes affordable housing, healthcare and quality education for everyone, as well as plans to “take on” the fossil fuel industry, require proof of vaccination to enter public spaces and end the influence of donations from corporate lobbyists.

“We have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to replace our entire state government in a single day and usher in an era of transparent, progressive, effective government that works for all Rhode Islanders,” Brown said in a statement.

The current secretary of state, Nellie Gorbea, and the state’s treasurer, Seth Magaziner, are seeking the Democratic nomination 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.

No Republicans have announced plans to run yet.