Governor Raimondo a “rising star” in national Democratic politics

Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo, who last December was elected chair of the Democratic Governors Association, is seen as a rising star within the party, according to a vice president for the Brookings Institute, a private organization devoted to analyzing public policy issues nationally.  

While Darrell West, who heads Brookings’ Governance Studies, doesn’t believe she’s a potential presidential candidate, he sees the 47-year-old governor as either running for another office (presumably U.S. Senate) or, if a Democrat wins the presidential election in 2020, being offered a high-level position within the administration, potentially a cabinet post.

Raimondo has just entered her second four-year term as governor. With term limits she could not run for reelection in 2022. There has been speculation at times that Raimondo might choose to leave office early, opting instead for a run for U.S. Senate in 2020 if Sen. Jack Reed, D-RI, decides not to run for reelection, or for a position in federal government if a Democrat is elected president in 2020.

“She is very much seen as a rising star in the Democratic Party nationally,” West said.

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He said her position as chair of the Democratic Governors Association “gives her a national platform to speak out on issues.” Already a “terrific fundraiser,” West said, her national position will put her in even “a better position” as a fundraiser.

Following last November’s election, Raimondo showed a balance in her campaign fund of $321,691. Her campaign had reached nearly $9 million at one point. She has been an adept fundraiser both locally and nationally.

Raimondo first entered politics in 2010, when she ran for state treasurer and won. Four years later she ran and won the governorship, winning reelection last November. She easily survived what promised to be a spirited primary election and general election.

She’s a Harvard University graduate, who earned a doctorate as a Rhodes Scholar, and graduated from Yale University Law School. A venture capitalist, she was a co-founder of Point Judith Capital.