James Diossa will be candidate for the post of treasurer of the RI

Former Central Falls mayor James Diossa said Monday he would run for Rhode Island’s general treasurer next year, becoming the first candidate to throw his hat in the ring for the job.

The 36-year-old Democrat was the first Latino mayor of Central Falls and helped lift the city out of bankruptcy.

That experience, he said on Monday, qualifies him to oversee government borrowing and the $ 10 billion pension system, although he has no traditional finance background.

“We all know the impact of pensions on Central Falls, so I know how much it has hurt working class people in the city,” Diossa said in a telephone interview Monday. “That’s why I worked closely with the current treasurer to move pensions from Central Falls” to the state-run municipal employee pension system.

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A number of other potential candidates are considering a candidacy for treasurer next year, but so far they have not been hired. They include State Senator Ryan Pearson, Representative Marvin Abney, Commerce Secretary Stefan Pryor and former Cranston Mayor Allan Fung.

Recent history suggests that the treasurer, aside from the rewards of work itself, can be a favorable stepping stone to higher political office.

Treasurer Seth Magaziner is running for governor at the end of his second term.

His predecessor, Gina Raimondo, became governor and is now US Secretary of Commerce.

Central Falls was bankrupt and its former mayor was about to plead guilty to corruption when Diossa took office at the age of 28 in 2013. He had previously served on city council.

“We have regained our creditworthiness and now Central Falls is back in the dark,” Diossa said in a press release announcing his campaign. “I want to bring this same common sense, this same decency and this same responsibility to the whole state.”

After serving the maximum two terms as mayor, Diossa was hired this year as a senior advisor by Brown University’s Policy Lab.

His role there was to provide a “general thinking partnership on potential projects,” including a “statewide municipal student internship program to support Rhode Island’s recovery from COVID-19. “he said in January.

He said he would officially launch his campaign next year and plan to leave Brown at some point to start campaigning full time.

Diossa lives in Pawtucket with his fiancée, Senator Sandra Cano.

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