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Matt Brown to challenge Gina Raimondo in Democratic Primary



Former Rhode Island Secretary of State Matt Brown announced today that he will run for for governor and seek the Democratic nomination. Brown had been exploring the possibility of running for governor as an independent.

“I’m running for Governor because we have big problems in our state and I’m convinced that we need change,” Brown said. “Here in Rhode Island we can build a different kind of economy that works for everyone, an economy that brings money, opportunity — and economic power — back to people and communities. We can live up to our values and provide a good education for our kids and healthcare for all, strengthen our communities and leave no one behind.”

While Brown had considered an independent candidacy, he will run as a Democrat.

“There is growing energy and eagerness within the Democratic Party for change. I’ve seen it all across the state,” Brown said. “I look forward to joining forces with people in every city and town in Rhode Island to push for change that better reflects our values, to create an economy that works for everyone – not just big corporations, big banks and the wealthiest few – and to be bold in the face of big problems.”

Here is a bio, supplied by Brown:

​Matt has spent his life working to bring people together from all backgrounds and across partisan divides to solve big problems that matter in people’s lives.

Twenty-five years ago, he co-founded and led City Year Rhode Island, which has enlisted thousands of young people ages 18-25 to tutor and mentor elementary and middle school children and meet critical needs in our communities. This year, City Year is celebrating its 25th anniversary in Rhode Island and over 1,876,800 hours of service provided to the state’s schools and communities.

Matt served as Rhode Island Secretary of State for four years, where he made bold and innovative changes to ensure our government serves everyone, not just the well-financed and well-connected. He increased government transparency by requiring greater disclosure of the links between lobbyists and elected officials and online filing of all public meeting minutes and agendas. He improved Rhode Island’s elections system, building the state’s first computerized voter registration system and launched Motor Voter e-Registration, a first-in-the-nation electronic voter registration system.

Eleven years ago, Matt co-founded Global Zero, an international organization that works to reduce the catastrophic risk of nuclear confrontation and seeks the ultimate elimination of nuclear weapons worldwide. Global Zero has earned the support of leaders from around the world and across the political spectrum, from President Obama to President Reagan’s Secretary of State George Shultz. Leading newspapers endorsed its efforts, including the Financial Times which wrote, “Global Zero’s plan has shown the direction to be traveled; the world’s leaders must now start moving.” Global Zero worked for the 2010 New START treaty that reduced United States and Russian nuclear arsenals and the multilateral deal to block Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons. It built an international network of military and political leaders and a grassroots movement of young people to carry this cause into the next decade. United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said, “Global Zero is grassroots activism at its finest.”

Matt and his wife, Marisa, live in Providence with their two children, Ella (12) and Walker (9).​

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Steve Ahlquist is a frontline reporter in Rhode Island. He has covered human rights, social justice, progressive politics and environmental news for nearly a decade.