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Michael Solomon is dropping out of the race for Providence mayor

Michael Solomon (first panelist on the left) at a Providence mayoral candidate forum last month, moderated by Globe columnist Dan McGowan.

Former Providence City Council president Michael Solomon is dropping out of the race for mayor, ending his comeback bid for the job he nearly won eight years ago.

The Democrat started to inform members of his team earlier this week that he was leaning toward ending his campaign, and he confirmed Wednesday that he has made his final decision.

”I think it’s time to shift my priorities first and foremost to my family,” Solomon said.

Solomon, who represented the Elmhurst and Mount Pleasant neighborhoods as councilman between 2007 and 2015, and was council president during his final term, made a splash last year when he loaned his campaign $250,000 of his own money to begin running for mayor.


He maintains that his private polling showed he had a path to victory, but he struggled to raise funds and didn’t spend as much time publicly campaigning as the other Democratic candidates, Councilwoman Nirva LaFortune, Gonzalo Cuervo, and Brett Smiley.

Solomon said the February death of his father, former state treasurer Anthony Solomon, also played a role in his decision to drop out of the race.

It’s unclear if Solomon will endorse any of his former opponents in the race, but he said he is leaning toward supporting Smiley. That would be a bittersweet alliance for Solomon, because it was Smiley’s decision to drop out of the mayor’s race in 2014 and back current Mayor Jorge Elorza that likely cost Solomon the Democratic primary that year.

This story first appeared in Rhode Map, our free newsletter about Rhode Island that also contains information about local events, data about the coronavirus in the state, and more. If you’d like to receive it via e-mail Monday through Friday, you can sign up here.

Dan McGowan can be reached at Follow him @danmcgowan.