PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) - Providence City Council President Michael Solomon on Friday said he plans to run for mayor in 2014, but only if current Mayor Angel Taveras pursues higher office.
"If there are changes in City Hall, I'll definitely be a candidate," Solomon told WPRI.com.
Solomon's comments came shortly after he reported raising $71,560 during the fourth quarter of 2012, bringing his total cash on hand to $183,120.26.
Solomon's contribution list for the quarter includes several prominent city insiders, including former Mayor Joe Paolino ($1,000), Board of Licenses Chairman Andrew Annaldo ($750) Thomas Moses, Mark Ryan and Antonio Afonso of the law firm Moses, Afonso, Ryan ($500 each) and Providence Economic Development Director James Bennett ($500). The Democrat also received $250 contributions from Senate Majority Leader Dominick Ruggerio, Sen. Frank Ciccone and Rep. John Carnevale.
"I think this shows that people realize I'm doing a good job right now," Solomon said.
Taveras has praised the entire City Council for working closely with his administration to help reduce the city's deficit from $110 million to $15 million as the fiscal year that ended June 30. At the Mayor's request last year, the Council passed an ordinance that allowed the city to alter health benefits and pensions for retirees. The city ultimately reached a settlement with all retirees as well as the public employee unions.
Taveras has said he plans to wait until the end of the year before making a decision about his political future, but he recently named Peter Baptista his campaign's finance director, fueling speculation that he may run for governor. A WPRI 12 poll last year showed that Taveras and General Treasurer Gina Raimondo are the two most popular politicians in the state.