Rhode Island Secretary of State Nellie M. Gorbea was re-elected in 2018 to serve Rhode Island for a second term and continue making government work for people. She made history when she was sworn in on January 6, 2015, becoming the first Hispanic elected to statewide office in New England. Since then, she has rapidly emerged on the national scene as a leader who is taking on some of the toughest issues and getting results. As Governor, Nellie would bring the same vision of integrity, inclusion, and effective leadership that she brought to the Secretary of State’s office to the Governorship of Rhode Island.
During her time in office, Nellie has transformed the Department of State from a filing cabinet to a nationally recognized hub of information that works for people. She has modernized Rhode Island’s elections infrastructure, increased cybersecurity measures, and brought both online and automated voter registration to the state. She has developed online resources and reduced red tape to make it easier for small businesses to start and grow. As a result of her work, a record number of new businesses were started in Rhode Island in 2020 despite the pandemic. Additionally, she instituted comprehensive lobby reform to reduce the power of special interests and make government more transparent. Nellie has a lifelong passion for encouraging civic participation.
As Governor, Nellie will continue working with diverse coalitions to solve problems and improve the lives of Rhode Islanders. Nellie will focus on local economic development, including helping small businesses grow after the effects of the pandemic. She’ll work to improve schools so our children can get a great education. She understands the need to build more affordable housing so young people, families, and our workforce can stay in Rhode Island. Nellie is determined to make Rhode Island a leader in renewable energy jobs as well as address climate change. If elected, Nellie would be the first Hispanic Governor in New England.
Before entering public service, Nellie founded the Rhode Island Latino Civic Fund and served on numerous other community boards. Prior to running for office, Nellie was the Executive Director of HousingWorks RI which provided compelling information on the need for affordable housing for the economic development of the state.
Originally from Puerto Rico, Gorbea is a graduate of Princeton University’s School of International and Public Affairs and holds a master’s degree in public administration from Columbia University. She lives with her family in North Kingstown, Rhode Island.