At street sweeper’s unveiling, Fung won’t cop to a State House run

New Cranston street sweeper_539380

CRANSTON, R.I. (WPRI) — They say a new broom sweeps clean. But it’s still not clear if Cranston’s outgoing mayor will try to prove he knows the corners.

Residents of Cranston will be benefiting from a new street sweeping vehicle, unveiled at the city’s Department of Public Works on Phenix Avenue on Thursday morning. Mayor Allan Fung, in his fourth and final term, took a mayoral spin around the parking lot on the new equipment. He commended Highway Manager John Corso and the rest of the public works team for their work. The sweeping vehicle’s purchase is part of routine maintenance upgrades over the past several budget cycles, Fung said, and a reflection of the improved financial situation.

A report on the Ocean State Current, a conservative website, said Fung told a meeting of Rhode Island Republicans in Tiverton Wednesday night that he was definitely running for governor.

“True?” asked reporters at the public works event.

“What I told Republicans in Tiverton [was] exactly what I’ve been telling people throughout the state — whether it’s in Tiverton, Jamestown, Warwick — about what I see as wrong with our state right now,” Fung responded.

There are a lot of people hurting, he said, “and that message is resonating with those individuals” in the three towns. “This administration’s hurting a lot of people — and there’s other ways to solve the problems and ills of Rhode Island.”

A formal announcement of whichever way he’ll go — to run, or not to run — will be coming later in the year, Fung said.

In June, Fung said he was seriously considering a run to unseat Democratic Gov. Gina Raimondo in 2018. In 2014, he came second to her in a three-way contest.

Thursday, his message was his commitment to helping the city of Cranston thrive. The mayor wouldn’t discuss in detail recent controversies in the Republican party at the national level. He did say being in the GOP has not been a liability, and he transcends the (R) next to his name. “It wasn’t a liability during the last election. I’ve been proud to be serving as a Republican for decades now, doing the right thing for all residents… whether they voted for me or not.”

“That’s the type of leadership I would bring to the State House,” said Fung.

As for President Donald Trump’s performance so far, Fung said, “On some business initiatives, I think he’s taken a good, strong lead to ensure that there has been more of a thriving economy, more jobs being added,” and he expected the president to continue in the same manner. But Fung volunteered that he has not agreed with some of the tweets coming from @realDonaldTrump, or some of the president’s other words in public. “I would like to see him succeed,” he added.

Rep. Patricia Morgan (R-Dist. 26, Coventry, Warwick and West Warwick) and former state rep Joe Trillo have also said they’ll consider running for the Republican gubernatorial nomination.Scott del Sole contributed to this report.

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