PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Former Providence Mayor Vincent A. “Buddy” Cianci Jr. is getting married.
Cianci, 74, proposed to his girlfriend, Tara Marie Haywood, on Christmas Day before a family dinner of around 50 people, Haywood told WPRI.com.
Haywood, a Providence native who is in her 30s, said the two met in July 2014, but her family has known the former mayor for many years. She said the two “were pretty much inseparable” by September of the same year.
“I am so fortunate to be marrying my best friend and love of my life,” Haywood said. “Our families get along so well and the best part of it all is being able to share so many special moments with his grandchildren, whom I absolutely adore.”
Cianci has three grandchildren. His only daughter, Nicole, died in 2012.
Haywood, who was once featured in Providence Monthly’s annual “most eligible bachelors and bachelorettes” issue, graduated from LaSalle Academy and attended the University of Rhode Island and the Connecticut School of Broadcasting. She has has held a variety of media positions throughout New England and New York City over the last decade.
Cianci, who served as mayor for parts of four decades between 1975 and 2002 but was twice forced to resign following felony convictions, stunned political observers by entering last year’s mayoral race as an independent candidate. He lost to Democrat Jorge Elorza 52% to 45% before returning to his lucrative gig as a drive-time talk-show host on WPRO-AM.
Elected as a Republican in 1974, Cianci first served as mayor until 1984, when he resigned after pleading no contest to assaulting a man in his East Side home who was allegedly having an affair with his ex-wife. He won the mayor’s office back in 1990 as an independent and remained there until 2002, when he was again forced to resign after being convicted on a racketeering conspiracy. He served more than four years in federal prison.
Cianci is widely credited with taking the lead on projects like the Providence Place mall and the moving of the rivers, which helped revitalize the city’s sleepy downtown.