Openly Gay Candidate Runs for RI Governor
Todd Giroux, who is openly gay and a Bristol resident, has announced he will seek the Democratic nomination for Governor of Rhode Island in 2014.
Giroux, 43, a former candidate for Governor, will be facing heavy-duty challengers, including State Treasurer Gina Raimondo and Providence Mayor Angel Tavares. Cranston Mayor Allan Fung, a Republican, is also a candidate, as well as businessman Ken Block, from the Moderate Party.
Governor Lincoln Chafee (I) announced this will be his only term in office.
Giroux is one of a handful of prominent LGBT politicians in the Ocean State, like House Speaker Gordon Fox (D-Providence), Senator Donna Nesselbush (D-Pawtucket), State Rep. Frank Ferri (D-Warwick), and State Rep. Deborah Ruggiero (D-Jamestown), but he says he doesn’t want to be labeled as a "gay" candidate.
In an interview with EDGE, he explained he wants voters to focus on his goals for Rhode Island, not his sexual orientation.
"I want to be a mainstream politician," Giroux said. "[Rhode Island] needs a new direction. We’re driving people away. We need something to be happy about."
Rhode Island has one of the highest unemployment rates in the country and Giroux wants to lower the state sales tax, which will make small businesses more competitive. He also has a jobs plan:
"I am focused on putting people back to work," he said. "I’m a labor guy. I want people working." Giroux wants to establish an office of the Inspector General, which would provide continuity of oversight to state contracts, agreements by executive boards and to legislative actions and state commitments.