Raimondo, Taveras point fingers during latest ads

Decision 2014

Rhode Island Democratic candidate for governor Gina Raimondo's ads are taking aim at primary opponent Angel Taveras.

" then Mayor Taveras got elected. He jacked up commercial property tax rates, and that drives away jobs," Raimondo's commercial says.

However, Taveras is also calling her out for connections to Wall Street.

"My opponent wants to throw stones from on high. I want to build a better future from the ground up," Taveras's commercial says.

But Taveras's campaign said it is not going negative.

"The treasurer has taken over a half-million dollars in campaign contributions from Wall Street. She's moved a billion dollars' worth of our retirement money into hedge funds. We're paying high fees. We're getting low returns for it," said Dawn Bergantino, who is Taveras's communications director.

However, Raimondo's campaign disagrees.

"The mayor has been attacking Gina's character incessantly for months, ever since he started his campaign. So much so that his former campaign chair, Myrth York, had to come out and tell him, 'Knock it off,'" said Eric Heyers, Raimondo's campaign manager.

But it's Raimondo's ad that focuses for the first time in the race on an opponent.

"The Providence economy needs to be the engine that drives the state's economy and under Mayor Taveras that engine's out of gas," Heyers said.

"I think the reason she's going negative because she's spending a lot of money and she's not moving the needle at all," Bergantino said.

Both sides admit the closeness in the race will mean the ads may get even more pointed as the race heads to the Sept. 9 primary.