CUMBERLAND – Mayor Daniel McKee is mulling a bid for lieutenant governor in 2014.
“It’s something I’m giving serious consideration to,” McKee, a Democrat, told The Times Thursday. “I have interest in exploring that as an option. It’s a few years away, but it’s not too early to start thinking about that if you actually want to make an effort toward it. It’s something that is worth looking at so I am taking a look at it.”
Lt. Gov. Elizabeth Roberts is term-limited and will not be eligible for re-election in 2014. Democratic Secretary of State Ralph Mollis is also term limited from returning to his post and is said to be interested in running for lieutenant governor. Democratic State Chairman Edwin Pacheco is also eyeing statewide office, but seems more focused on running for secretary of state. On the Republican side, Warwick Mayor Scott Avedesian is believed to be considering a run for lieutenant governor.
While lieutenant governor is often thought of as next in line to the governor’s office, the last lieutenant governor to actually rise to the top spot was J. Joseph Garrahy in 1977.
“I’m sure there are a number of people who would take a look at (lieutenant governor) along with some other offices, I would expect that. But I think as other candidates make up their minds, they will throw their names out and work on it.
McKee said the lieutenant governor’s office “is a good place to do some education policy, business policy and some city and town-type policy. I have an interest in those policies at the state level. I think the lieutenant governor’s office would give me some more flexibility to work on those issues as opposed to other offices. That’s where the opportunity is for someone who wants to be innovative and creative.
“I think it’s a good fit,” McKee said of the second spot on the state ticket, “and now it is just a matter of making a final decision in the first half of next year so everybody has notice of what I’ll be doing. I’m sure there will be people looking to get involved in Cumberland” politics. “At this next term, I will have done 12 years” as mayor. McKee was re-elected in November to a sixth term, running unopposed. “So it’s not a fly-by-night thing. I’m trying to do the best I can for Cumberland and will continue to do that over the next two years.”
Read more in Saturday's print edition.