Meet the Candidates: Providence Mayor

☆ ☆ ☆

12 News is Your Local Election Headquarters. Stay with us for comprehensive campaign coverage through Election Day, including exclusive polls, candidate interviews, debates and expert analysis.

☆ ☆ ☆

This fall, Providence residents will head to the polls to elect the city’s next mayor.

Current Mayor Jorge Elorza, who’s been in office since 2014, is unable to run again due to term limits.

The primary election is Tuesday, Sept. 13.

Here’s what you need to know about the current candidates (sorted alphabetically):

Gonzalo Cuervo (D)

Cuervo stepped down as deputy secretary of state in December 2020 to run for mayor of Providence. He previously served as former Mayor Angel Taveras’ chief of staff and former Mayor David Cicilline’s communications director.

Prior to his time in city and state government, Cuervo was a “community organizer and nonprofit leader,” according to his website, and he owned a graphic design and printing business on Broad Street.

Watch: Gonzalo Cuervo on Pulse of Providence 7/26/22

Visit Cuervo’s campaign website »

Nirva LaFortune (D)

LaFortune represents Ward 3 on the Providence City Council. She won the seat in a special election after Kevin Jackson was recalled in 2017, then she was reelected to a full four-year term the following year.

LaFortune was born in Haiti and grew up in Providence. If elected, she’d be the first woman and the first Black person to be the city’s mayor.

Watch: Nirva LaFortune on Pulse of Providence 7/27/22

Visit LaFortune’s campaign website »

Brett Smiley (D)

Smiley previously ran for mayor in 2014, but dropped out just before the primary to put his support behind Elorza, who eventually won the office and named Smiley the city’s chief operating officer.

He went on to join the Raimondo administration as her chief of staff in 2016, then served as the director of the R.I. Department of Administration from Jan. 2020 until his resignation in Feb. 2021.

Watch: Brett Smiley on Pulse of Providence 7/28/22

Visit Smiley’s campaign website »