Caprio, Almonte enter race for general treasurer

Frank Caprio

Former Rhode Island General Treasurer Frank Caprio exited politics after his third-place finish in the 2010 governor's race, punctuated by his famous retort that President Obama could "shove it" when it came to his endorsement.

Now Caprio is back. He is running for general treasurer in 2014, saying his financial skills and experience in the office from 2007 to 2011 make him suited to shepherd the state's investments.

Caprio is no longer a Democrat. He said during a taping of "10 News Conference" on Thursday that he is currently an independent and that he will not make a decision to join a party for some months. He wouldn't rule out a Republican or a Moderate affiliation.

On the Democratic side, former state Auditor General Ernie Almonte has decided to switch his campaign from governor to general treasurer. He said his experience and education make him the best qualified candidate.

Both of them say priority one is investing the state's pension fund, amounting to more than $7 billion. They also both want to attend to student loans and try to make college education affordable.

However the two differ on the subject of the bonds issued to fund 38 Studios, the Curt Schilling-backed video game company that went under, leaving taxpayers facing about a $100 million payback.

Caprio said there's no legal obligation to pay back bonds that were only secured by a moral obligation. He said the multibillion-dollar insurance companies that bought the bonds knew they were risky, and that's why they had a higher rate of return than general revenue bonds.

Almonte said the state should keep its word and pay off the bond holders.

So far, no other candidates have joined the race for general treasurer.