PROVIDENCE, R.I. – The executive board of the Providence Teachers Union “overwhelmingly” endorsed Vincent “Buddy” Cianci Jr. for mayor. “Mr. Cianci had a little bit more experience in terms of the city’s schools and had a better understanding of the fundamental needs of the schools as they exist in this point in time,” said PTU president Maribeth Calabro. Cianci also picked up the endorsements of the police and firefighters unions.
If the name sounds familiar, it’s because Cianci holds the distinction of having been forced from the office of Providence mayor not once, but twice, for felony convictions. The first time was in 1984 when Cianci assaulted a man he believed was having an affair with his estranged wife. The second time was in 2002, after which he served 4 ½ years in prison for running a “corrupt criminal enterprise” as mayor.
Cianci’s opponents are Jorge Elorza, a Democrat, and Daniel Harrop, a Republican. Elorza is a former judge who sits on the board of Achievement First, a network of charter schools.
Cianci was the subject of an award-winning documentary where he’s described as “America’s Most Notorious Mayor,” and, completely filling the stereotype, has his own line of marinara sauce, which isn’t entirely on the up-and-up, either.
“To us, it’s ancient history,” said Calabro. “It’s done and over with, and we’re trying as an organization not to go backwards in terms of negativity and things like that.”
Published with permission