Who isn’t running for Providence mayor in 2022?

Providence City Hall. (Lane Turner/Globe Staff)
Providence City Hall. (Lane Turner/Globe Staff)The Boston Globe/Globe Staff

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Happy Monday and welcome to Rhode Map, your daily guide to everything happening in the Ocean State. I’m Dan McGowan and I’m not convinced Gronk has a future in television. Follow me on Twitter @DanMcGowan or send tips to Dan.McGowan@globe.com.

The race for Providence mayor is still three years away, but potential candidates are already jockeying for position to succeed term-limited Mayor Jorge Elorza.

So who are the current contenders?


The following list includes individuals who confirmed they are considering entering the race, plus a group of potential candidates who haven’t quite gone public with their plans for 2022.

Gonzalo Cuervo (D)

The current chief of staff to Secretary of State Nellie Gorbea, Cuervo has been making the rounds at events in the city for several months. He also re-established his residency in Providence after living in Cranston for a short time. None of the potential candidates understands city politics better than Cuervo, who worked for Mayors David Cicilline and Angel Taveras.

Grace Diaz (D)

A vice chair of the Rhode Island Democratic Party, state Representative Grace Diaz was the first Dominican-American ever elected to a state legislature in the United States. She remains popular on the South Side, but would need to prove she can raise money to be competitive. She currently works for Mayor Jorge Elorza.

Nicholas Hemond (D)

The current president of the Providence School Board, Hemond also works as an attorney and lobbyist. He’d have no problem raising money for a race, but could face criticism on a number of fronts, including the state’s takeover of the school system and the nightclub owners he represents before the city liquor board.


Sabina Matos (D)

As the City Council president, Matos will have an easier time earning publicity over the next several years, but she hasn’t yet proved to be a strong fund-raiser. She currently works for the state.

Brett Smiley (D)

Smiley hasn’t been shy about telling supporters he intends to run for mayor. He’s probably the strongest fund-raiser in the field, but he’ll need to prove he can win off the East Side. He also face questions about his current role as chief of staff to Governor Gina Raimondo, including whether he threatened a top casino executive.

Michael Solomon (D)

Another blast from the past, the former City Council president and primary runner-up to Elorza in 2014 has been overseeing economic development in the city for several years. He has the money to run a competitive campaign, but he may struggle on the vote-rich East Side.

The rest of the field

There will be no shortage of other Democrats who may flirt with a campaign, including state Representatives Ray Hull and John Lombardi; Councilors John Igliozzi, Nirva LaFortune and David Salvatore; businessman Lorne Adrain; community advocate Kobi Dennis; and former state Representative Aaron Regunberg.


Rhode Map wants to hear from you. If you’ve got a scoop or a link to an interesting news story in Rhode Island, e-mail us at RInews@globe.com.

Nibbles Woodaway has been shot, spray painted, battered by blizzards and hurricanes. Through it all, the Big Blue Bug abides. Amanda Milkovits explores the exhausting effort that goes into lighting the Bug for Christmas, an event which officially kicks off the holiday season in Rhode Island.


As Rhode Island officials consider whether to legalize marijuana, the Globe’s Naomi Martin traveled to Canada to learn about the Walmart of Weed – a company that is poised to become a dominant player in the United States.

PSA: Providence is offering free holiday parking in commercial districts including downtown, around Atwells Avenue, Broad Street, Olneyville Square, Wayland Square and on Hope, Thayer and Wickenden Streets from Black Friday until Jan. 1.

Interesting stories from the competition: The AP’s Michelle Smith profiled presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg... Nadine Sebai from The Public’s Radio found questionable expenditures on Fall River Mayor Jasiel Correia’s city credit card… Governor Gina Raimondo talked education with WJAR’s Ashley Cullinane… Brown students Morgan Awner and Rachel Lim have launched a podcast on the state takeover of Providence schools.

Winner: You guys flooded my inbox with suggestions for the best book about Rhode Island, so rather than select one winner, I made a Google document for every book you named. Happy reading!


Each day, Rhode Map offers a cheat sheet breaking down what’s happening in Rhode Island. Have an idea? E-mail us at RInews@globe.com.

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell will deliver the keynote address tonight at the Greater Providence Chamber of Commerce’s annual meeting. The event is at the Rhode Island Convention Center at 6 p.m.


Tonight in Worcester: The baseball team formerly known as the Pawtucket Red Sox will unveil its new nickname and logo for the 2021 season.

Tonight at Brown University: Providence Teachers Union President Maribeth Calabro and professor Jonathan Collins will discuss why teachers have gone on strike in several states and what it means for Rhode Island.

Rhode Island KIDS COUNT is holding its annual luncheon to celebrate children’s health at the Providence Marriott at noon.

On today’s Rhode Island Commerce Corporation meeting agenda: A proposal to consider extending the corporation’s contract with Conventions Sports & Leisure, the consulting firm that has been conducting a feasibility study on McCoy Stadium.

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Thanks for reading. Send comments and suggestions to dan.mcgowan@globe.com, or follow me on Twitter @DanMcGowan. See you tomorrow.

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