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Seth Magaziner formally launches campaign for governor

General Treasurer Seth Magaziner announces his candidacy for governor of Rhode Island in Pawtucket, Tuesday, Sept. 14, 2021. (WJAR){p}{/p}
General Treasurer Seth Magaziner announces his candidacy for governor of Rhode Island in Pawtucket, Tuesday, Sept. 14, 2021. (WJAR)

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No surprise, but now it's official.

Rhode Island General Treasurer Seth Magaziner announces he's running for governor in the 2022 race.

The Democratic field is already getting crowded, as Magaziner is challenging Gov. Dan McKee, Secretary of State Nellie Gorbea, and Dr. Luis Daniel Munoz.

Magaziner had a bit of an awkward start as he wanted to wait until hours after his announcement to answer questions.

"I'm announcing today that I am a candidate for governor of the state of Rhode Island," Magaziner said at a morning event in Pawtucket, with a school construction site in the background.

"I'm running for governor because I believe that the economic future of our state hangs in the balance in this election," he said.

The 38-year-old Bristol native is a Brown and Yale grad, son of a former presidential advisor, and is now serving his second term as Rhode Island's General Treasurer.

Magaziner touts his record growing the state pension and spearheading a school construction program a few years ago that has the state spending hundreds of millions of dollars on building projects.

Magaziner also said, "Let's get to work tackling the big challenges of our age, like COVID, by listening to the experts and not just the loudest voices in the room. Let's get to work moving Rhode Island past the old school politics and the cronyism that have held our state back for too long."

When leaving the announcement, Magaziner did not want to answer questions from reporters, instead saying he would at another event later this afternoon.

When NBC 10 News asked Magaziner what sets him apart from other candidates, he replied, "I think I said that. What sets me apart from anyone who may run is that we have a real track record of getting things done on the economy and putting Rhode Islanders to work. We're going to take every question that you guys have later this afternoon and I look forward to it."

He then left in a car with Florida plates, which Magaziner's campaign said belongs to a volunteer in college.

In the afternoon, Magaziner toured shops in Wickford, tasting wine at one, and did answer questions, including why he didn't want to earlier.

"The announcement was a big event, not only for the state but for me and my family. I was with my mother. I was with my wife who is expecting our first child soon and so I wanted to spend some time with them," he told NBC 10.

NBC 10 also asked Magaziner about comments in his announcement speech about insider politics and cronyism, and whether that was a shot at McKee.

"Well, I think every Rhode Islander knows that there has at times at the state house been a culture of insiders taking care of insiders. And the stories that have come out of the governor’s office in the last few weeks were a reminder of that,” Magaziner replied. “These stories that have come out the past few weeks are disturbing and, as governor, I will end that way of doing business."

And, expanding on his comments about leadership on COVID, Magaziner believes the state should mandate vaccinations for all state employees and all teachers and school employees.

"You have almost 2,000 unvaccinated adults going to work in schools everyday with children who can't get vaccinated. That's dangerous and unacceptable,” he said.

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