by ABC Chief Political Reporter Mark Curtis
To the applause of friends, family and supporters, Cumberland Mayor Dan McKee announced his run as a Democrat for Lieutenant Governor.
He says his number one priority is education.
"I will continue to stand in support of our students and will work with anyone who is willing to transform our public schools," said Dan McKee, Democratic candidate for Lt. Governor.
McKee has been Cumberland Mayor for twelve years and says his community has low crime, good schools and is on solid financial ground.
ABC6 News Chief Political Reporter Mark Curtis said, "For the past few elections cycles there have been efforts to get rid of the Lieutenant Governors office. Critics saying the office is too costly and has few official duties."
Three fellow Mayors came out to endorse McKee and say the office of Lieutenant Governor is still relevant.
"Whoever takes that job, they make that job what it really is. People have talked about getting rid of it before, that's nonsense. You need a Lieutenant Governor because that person can be very effective and I think Dan can be extremely effective as our Lieutenant Governor," said Mayor Joseph Polisena (D) Johnston.
With one Rhode Island fire department in bankruptcy, McKee says consolidation of fire and rescue service needs to be looked at state wide.
This year four separate Cumberland fire districts were merged.
"There'll be one election; one fire district; one
chief; one tax rate, not four of each, so I think regionalization,
consolidation, and that's one of the things that I would do."
Current Secretary of state Ralph Mollis – also a Democrat – will be challenging Dan McKee for Lieutenant Governor.
Right now the Lieutenant Governor's salary in Rhode Island is $108 thousand dollars per year.
The office has a budget of $1–point–1 million dollars.