Pell, husband of Michelle Kwan, to run for R.I. governor

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PROVIDENCE — Rhode Island’s contentious race for governor is about to get a lot more complicated with the entry of Clay Pell, the grandson of the late US Senator Claiborne Pell and the husband of Olympic figure skater Michelle Kwan.

Pell, a Democrat, may be a political newcomer at age 32, but he can count on his family’s legacy, his wife’s star wattage, and what appears to be growing support from some party insiders. Pell served in the US Coast Guard and worked on the White House national security staff and at the US Department of Education.

“The problems we face are urgent, and they need urgent action,” Pell told the Associated Press during a recent interview at his home on Providence’s East Side. “They need a fresh approach, and I believe I bring a distinct set of experience, values, and skills to move this state forward.”

Pell announced his bid with a video released Monday, ahead of a campaign rally Tuesday at the Rhode Island Convention Center.

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