Donald Carcieri

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Donald Carcieri
Governor of Rhode Island
Retired Officeholder
In office
January 7, 2003 – January 4, 2011
Bachelor'sBrown University
Date of birthDecember 16, 1942
Place of birthEast Greenwich, Rhode Island
ProfessionExecutive, Teacher, Banker
ReligionRoman Catholic
Office website
Campaign website
Donald L. "Don" Carcieri (b. December 16, 1942 in East Greenwich, Rhode Island) is a former Republican Governor of Rhode Island. He was first elected in 2002 and re-elected in 2006. He was ineligible to run for a third consecutive term as governor in 2010, and he was succeeded by Independent Lincoln Chafee, who won election on November 2, 2010.

Carcieri was rumored to have been considering a run for the U.S. Senate in 2012, but he announced in mid-November 2011 he would not challenge Senator Sheldon Whitehouse.[1]

Carcieri was again rumored to be exploring a possible Senate bid for Jack Reed's seat in the 2014 election. He did not file to run.


Carcieri is a native of East Greenwich, Rhode Island, where his father, Nicola J. Carcieri coached football and basketball at the local high school. In high school, Carcieri excelled in sports, even earning himself a college athletic scholarship. He attended Brown University and graduated with a bachelor's degree in international relations.[2]

Carcieri started his career as a high school math teacher and later became a successful banker and businessman. [3] His varied vocational background took him around Rhode Island, in addition to Kingston, Jamaica, where he and his family lived from 1981-1983 while Carcieri worked for Catholic Relief Services. Upon their return to Rhode Island, Carcieri took a job with the Cookson Group. He began as an executive and rose to the position of joint managing director for Cookson and CEO of the company's Cookson America subsidiary. As CEO, he was behind the decision to establish the subsidiary's U.S. headquarters in downtown Providence.[3]


  • East Greenwich High School
  • Bachelor's degree in international relations - Brown University

Political career

Governor of Rhode Island (2003-2011)

Carcieri was sworn in as the 73rd Governor of Rhode Island on January 7, 2003, having won election in November 2002. Carcieri was re-elected in 2006, after which he spoke of continuing to take on individuals tied to the "old system."

He served a full two terms in office, and he was succeeded by Independent Lincoln Chafee on January 4, 2011.


Open Records Veto

In July of 2008, Carcieri vetoed approximately 30 bills, one of which was "An Act Relating to Public Records: Access to Public Records" (2008 H 7422A). The bill had been passed by the General Assembly earlier in the year. The bill would have required all state public agencies to certify that staff had been trained in how to properly respond to requests for open records, and that arrest records would be made public within 24 hours.[4] "With respect to his veto of the so-called 'open records' bill, the governor said the bill would compromise the privacy of Rhode Islanders, and be impractical for state agencies, especially police departments to produce the required information."[5]

Medical Marijuana

In 2005, both houses of the Rhode Island General Assembly passed a bill legalizing medical marijuana. Carcieri vetoed the bill, but the state lawmakers overrode Carcieri by a large margin. Governor Carcieri and the Democratic-dominated General Assembly were at odds on a number of issues: enacting separation of powers, the obligations of state workers, and the right of undocumented children to have access to the state childcare health insurance plan. Carcieri often warned against increasing the size of the state's social safety net as unaffordable and unsustainable and that the state suffered economically from a history of corruption. The General Assembly viewed Carcieri as attempting to increase the power of the executive branch to the detriment of the legislature, being overly combative in negotiations, and callous toward the concerns of the poor and the state workers.



See also: United States Senate elections in Rhode Island, 2014

Carcieri was considered a potential Republican candidate for U.S. Senate in 2014. He did not file to run.


Carcieri won re-election as governor in 2006. He ran unopposed in the Republican primary and faced his own Lieutenant Governor, Democrat Charles J. Fogarty, who was prevented by term limits from seeking re-election as lt. governor, in the November general election. Rhode Island is one of 19 states that elects its governor and lieutenant governor separately, rather than on a single party ticket.[6]

  • 2006 General
Governor of Rhode Island, 2006
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Charles J. Fogarty 49% 189,562
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngDonald Carcieri Incumbent 51% 197,366
Total Votes 386,928
  • 2006 Republican Primary

Carcieri ran unopposed in this contest.


Carcieri won the Republican primary over the endorsed candidate and went on to defeat Democrat Myrth York, 55% to 45% in the general election to become the 73rd Governor of Rhode Island.[6]

  • 2002 General
Governor of Rhode Island, 2002
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Myrth York 45.2% 150,229
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngDonald Carcieri 54.8% 181,827
Total Votes 332,056
  • 2002 Republican Primary
Governor of Rhode Island, 2002
Candidate Vote % Votes
Green check mark transparent.pngDonald Carcieri 66.9% 17,227
James Bennett 33.1% 8,518
Total Votes 25,745


Carcieri and his wife, Suzanne, have four children -- Mathew, Alison, Jill, and Sarah -- and fourteen grandchildren.[7]

See also

External links


Political offices
Preceded by
Lincoln C. Almond
Governor of Rhode Island
2003 - 2011
Succeeded by
Lincoln Chafee