Ashley Kalus, GOP business owner, to run for governor

March 22, 2022 GMT
Ashley Kalus speaks with a reporter during an interview at WPRI-TV, Tuesday, March 22, 2022, in East Providence, R.I., after announcing Tuesday morning that she is seeking the Republican nomination for governor of Rhode Island. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)
Ashley Kalus speaks with a reporter during an interview at WPRI-TV, Tuesday, March 22, 2022, in East Providence, R.I., after announcing Tuesday morning that she is seeking the Republican nomination for governor of Rhode Island. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)
Ashley Kalus speaks with a reporter during an interview at WPRI-TV, Tuesday, March 22, 2022, in East Providence, R.I., after announcing Tuesday morning that she is seeking the Republican nomination for governor of Rhode Island. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)
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Ashley Kalus speaks with a reporter during an interview at WPRI-TV, Tuesday, March 22, 2022, in East Providence, R.I., after announcing Tuesday morning that she is seeking the Republican nomination for governor of Rhode Island. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)
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Ashley Kalus speaks with a reporter during an interview at WPRI-TV, Tuesday, March 22, 2022, in East Providence, R.I., after announcing Tuesday morning that she is seeking the Republican nomination for governor of Rhode Island. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Ashley Kalus, a businessperson who has never before sought political office, announced Tuesday that she is seeking the Republican nomination for governor of Rhode Island.

She is listed as an executive with Doctors Test Centers, which landed two multimillion dollar contracts with the state to administer coronavirus vaccines and tests across the state. She and her husband moved from Illinois, buying a home in Newport last May.

“Ask yourself: who has Rhode Island been changing for? Every day gets harder for working families,” she said in a video announcing her candidacy. “We’re getting killed at the pump, food prices are soaring, it costs more to heat our home, income is not matching inflation, the dream of owning a home is out of reach for many, and we pay more for health care and get less. As a mom of three school-aged boys, I understand these struggles.”

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She listed her priorities as education, strengthening the economy, creating jobs, affordability, health care, the opioid crisis, infrastructure, affordable housing and taking care of the state’s most vulnerable residents.

In her announcement, Kalus touted her experience starting several businesses and creating jobs.

“Ashley believes you are a different type of leader when you start a business from nothing, build that business and help others achieve their own success,” her statement said.

Several Democrats are running including incumbent Daniel McKee; Secretary of State Nellie Gorbea; former Rhode Island Secretary of State Matt Brown; former CVS Health executive Helena Foulkes; and community activist Dr. Luis Daniel Muñoz.