PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Gonzalo Cuervo announced his candidacy for Providence mayor nearly two years before the 2022 election, and the longtime player in Democratic politics says his experience in both city and state government make him the best person for the job.

Cuervo, who left his job as deputy secretary of state under Secretary of State Nellie Gorbea to run for mayor, also worked for former Providence Mayors Angel Taveras and David Cicilline. While the field isn’t set yet for the Democratic primary, Cuervo is expected to face former R.I. Director of Administration Brett Smiley, City Councilwoman Nirva LaFortune and former City Council President Michael Solomon in the Democratic primary, among others who have yet to announce their plans.

Smiley had raised the most money in the race as of the first quarter of this year, with second quarter reports due in early August.

In this episode of Pulse of Providence, Cuervo weighs in on whether the state takeover of Providence schools should continue, how he would spend millions in federal relief money, his thoughts on guaranteed income and police reform, among other issues facing the capital city.

Watch the full episode Pulse of Providence in the video above or listen to the audio here or where you get your podcasts.

Steph Machado ( is a Target 12 investigative reporter covering Providence, politics and more for 12 News. Connect with her on Twitter and on Facebook.