A Hummel Report Investigation
Meet the Candidates - Gina Raimondo
After one term as general treasurer that brought both national acclaim and the ire of the public-sector unions, Democrat Gina Raimondo wants to move up a floor at the State House, into the governor’s office. This week Raimondo tells Jim Hummel how pension reform is related to many of the things she wants to do as governor and talks about how government could use someone with a private-sector skill set.
``Here’s your next governor!’’
It is an adoring crowd this late Saturday afternoon at a Providence high rise just off Cranston Street. And Gina Raimondo dives right in - with hugs and handshakes for everyone. The campaign has just fed this roomful of potential voters a hearty main course of chicken, pork, rice and beans. An appearance by the candidate serves as dessert.
Raimondo: ``How’s the food? I’ve been cooking all day…’’
Raimondo is running nearly 30 minutes behind schedule, but is relaxed and doesn’t rush. She delivers a short speech before working the room, posing for a handful of pictures and pausing to talk with anyone who engages her.
In politics it’s called shoring up the base and Raimondo is not taking anyone in this room for granted. In the one-on-one encounters she hears what Rhode Islanders have been telling her throughout this campaign for governor.
Raimond: ``All you hear, every day, all day is people need more work.’’
In a state that has consistently had the highest unemployment rate in the country the topic of jobs has trumped virtually every other issue.
Raimond: ``It becomes overwhelming, actually. How do I get a job, I’ve been out of work for a year, I finally got a job making $12/hour less than what I used to make. I look for jobs every day, I call the Department of Labor and Training. I don’t know what to do. I don’t know what I’m going to do. Every single day somebody says to me I don’t know what I’m going to do.’’