PROVIDENCE — Dr. Luis Daniel Muñoz, who ran for governor as an independent in 2018, plans to announce on Thursday that he will run again in 2022 — this time as a Democrat.
Muñoz, a member of the state Equity Council, was one of the leaders who called for the state to hold clinics to boost the vaccination rate in Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) communities. He told the Globe that he is running for governor because he believes Rhode Island needs leaders who will place greater emphasis on matters of health equity, affordable housing, and environmental justice.
“At the state level, I have concerns that we have not taken a more progressive approach around community health infrastructure,” Muñoz said. “We have not identified poverty as the major issue that we should tackle, and we have not emphasized bold investments in our local economy to increase opportunities for a livable wage.”
Muñoz will join a field that is expected to include well-funded, high-profile Democrats such as Governor Daniel J. McKee, Secretary of State Nellie M. Gorbea, General Treasurer Seth Magaziner, and Providence Mayor Jorge O. Elorza.
As an unaffiliated candidate in 2018, Muñoz received 6,223 votes, or 1.7 percent, in the race that former Democratic Governor Gina M. Raimondo won with 52.6 percent percent of the vote. And he had just $17.74 in his campaign account, according to the most recent reports, while Magaziner had more than $1 million.
“We have started to fund-raise and the next cycle will reflect that,” Muñoz said. “We know we need to reach a threshold to inform Rhode Islanders about our message. But beyond that threshold, for us this campaign is about demonstrating that a true grassroots approach can actually result in victory, not for just me but the people of Rhode Island.”
Muñoz, 36, was born in Central Falls and lives in Pawtucket. He graduated from Central Falls High School, Rhode Island College, and the University of Connecticut School of Medicine. He works for Color Health, a California-based health technology company that has customers throughout the country.
Muñoz plans to make his announcement at 11 a.m. Thursday at the State House.
Edward Fitzpatrick can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @FitzProv.