PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Weeks after stepping down as director of the R.I. Department of Administration under former Gov. Gina Raimondo, Brett Smiley says he’s now a full-time mayoral candidate until next year’s primary election in Providence.
Smiley, a Democrat, is expected to face several other likely candidates, including Gonzalo Cuervo, Councilwoman Nirva LaFortune and others who have yet to announce their intentions.
The former DOA director had a rocky start to his campaign, after he had to refund several donations to state contractors that were discovered by Target 12, following his own pledge not to take money from state vendors because of his job. He says refunds will be reflected on his next campaign finance report. The R.I. Ethics Commission is also considering a complaint about the matter filed by the Republican Party.
In this episode of Pulse of Providence, Smiley addresses that controversy while also saying he wants to get back to basics if elected mayor, focusing on city services and infrastructure issues such as better roads.
He also answered questions about how he would spend the federal COVID-19 relief money, his thoughts on some of Mayor Elorza’s big initiatives, Providence’s pension woes, policing and more.
Watch the full episode of Pulse of Providence in the video above.