Ashley Kalus running for governor of RI as Republican

PROVIDENCE — Rhode Island newcomer Ashley Kalus has officially launched her Republican campaign for governor, with a video that casts her as an “outsider” with “gigantic aspirations” for her new home state.

“The days of ‘I know a guy’ are over,” she vowed. “It works for the insiders, but I bet it doesn’t work out for you.”

Her pitch: “We need leaders with solutions to make Rhode Island a more affordable to place live, work, and raise a family. … We need parental involvement in our kids’ education. … And we need to fund the police and keep our Neighborhood safe.”

“This is the time to write the greatest chapter in Rhode Island’s history,” she said.

With no established Republican in the state chomping at the bit to run for governor, Kalus, 39, is at this point the state GOP’s best, and perhaps only, hope of regaining the office it has not held since the Carcieri era ended under a 38 Studios cloud more than a decade ago.

Previous reporting:Rhode Island newcomer is considering entering race for governor, as a Republican

Kalus, who registered to vote in Rhode Island for the first time in January, is expected to funnel a significant amount of her own money into building up her name recognition.

She introduced herself on Tuesday as “a businesswoman and health care executive who has built and run several successful businesses.”

One of those companies had a contract to administer coronavirus vaccines at Rhode Island’s mass vaccination sites. A Department of Health spokesman told The Journal in January that the company also staffed and operated multiple state-run COVID testing sites under a now-expired contract.

The two contracts totaled $11.4 million.

COVID fight:Rhode Island focuses on school vaccination as it starts third year of COVID pandemic

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