PROVIDENCE, R.I. - Governor-elect Lincoln D. Chafee has put two of his trusted political advisers at the helm of his transition team: lawyer Patrick Rogers, who once worked in his father's U.S. Senate office, and Stephen R. Hourahan, a top Senate aide to both generations of Chafees.
On Monday, a Chafee spokesman confirmed that Rogers had been named chairman, and Hourahan the director of the small team of close advisers and campaign staff who will help Chafee made the transition from winning candidate to Rhode Island's next governor.
His transition staff will also include three top campaign aides in new roles: His campaign manager and lead spokesman Michael Trainor as deputy director-communications; retired District Court Judge Stephen Erickson as deputy director-legal and legislative relations, and Jonathan Stevens, as deputy director-policy.
Beginning his first full week as governor-elect, Chafee also started naming the members of his transition advisory committee, who include: Robert Walsh, executive director of the National Education Association of Rhode Island; former U.S. Attorney Meg Curran, who played a key role in his "Trust Chafee'' TV ad campaign; Dr. Pablo Rodriguez, a leader in the Hispanic community and former medical director of Planned Parenthood of Rhode Island, and CVS executive Helena Buonanno Foulkes.
The NEARI provided Chafee with one of his first and biggest public employee union endorsements in his contest with Democrat Frank T. Caprio for organized labor support.
More announcements are expected over the next several days, as Chafee puts in place the rest of his transition team, and begins naming key members of his cabinet.
"One of my goals as governor is to attract outstanding talent to public service: smart, hard-working and energetic leaders to bring new ideas to state government," Chafee said. "These initial members of my Transition Advisory Committee are proven leaders in their respective fields of expertise, and I thank them for their service and welcome their assistance to help Rhode Island realize it full potential."
A partner at Edwards Angell Palmer & Dodge, Rogers was both the general chairman and finance chair of the Chafee for Governor campaign.
A graduate of LaSalle Academy, Holy Cross and Catholic University Law School, Rogers has been a Peace Corps volunteer in Gabon, Central Africa, legislative aide to the governor-elect's late father, U.S. Sen. John H. Chafee in Washington, D.C., a member of the East Providence City Council, municipal court judge and town solicitor.
Hourahan's ties to the Chafee family date back nearly three decades. He was a volunteer on the elder Chafee's 1982 U.S. Senate campaign, and subsequent finance chairman, office manager and scheduler for the elder Chafee until his death in 1999.
A year later, Hourahan managed the younger Chafee's winning campaign to keep the seat to which he had been appointed by then-Governor Almond after his father's death.
Hourahan spent the next six years as communications director and press secretary in the younger Chafee's U.S. Senate office in Washington, until his 2006 defeat.
In his more recent role as executive director of AIDS Project Rhode Island, Hourahan was one of the activists battling Governor Carcieri's attempt to cut $375,000 from a state program that helps about 1,000 people with HIV find food, shelter and medical attention, as part of his deficit-cutting plan.
Stevens was legislative director in Chafee's Washington Senate office, office director of his Newport office, congressional liaison to the administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, planning director for the city of Warwick when Chafee was mayor, director of economic development for the city of Newport and district press secretary for former Rhode Island U.S. Rep. Claudine Schneider.
In making a high-ranked labor leader a member of his transition team, he has followed the lead of another newcomer to the State House, Treasurer-elect Gina Raimondo. She has included on her team Armand E. Sabitoni, general secretary-treasurer and New England regional manager for the Laborers' International Union of North America, which endorsed Caprio over Chafee in the governor's race.