RHODE ISLAND | RI-gov

Feroce Decides to Run

The embattled businessman hasn’t filed.

Zach C. Cohen
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Zach C. Cohen
Jan. 3, 2018, 9:52 a.m.

Businessman Giovanni Feroce (R) announced Monday he will run for governor.

Feroce: “My New Year’s resolution is to become your next Governor. I will change your life and we will become the new standard for all Americans to look up to.” (Twitter)

“Feroce does not appear to have a campaign account registered with the Board of Elections yet.” (Providence Journal)

“Feroce has not yet announced what party he will be running under, though he is expected to seek the Republican nomination.” (WPRI)

BACKGROUND. “Just a few years ago, the West Warwick native basked in national attention, touting his work as chief executive officer at Alex and Ani. Then, in March 2014, he was abruptly ousted from the multimillion-dollar Cranston jewelry company. Within a few months, he said he had big plans.

“Feroce bought BENRUS, a military-style watch brand, and promised to create a global billion-dollar fashion brand. He also launched a semipro basketball team, took over a local advertorial magazine, started an investment firm, bankrolled local musicians, invested in a Florida nightclub, sponsored a golf tournament and was featured in a pitch for a business-reality TV show, calling himself ‘The Fixer.’

“Today, Feroce’s empire is circled by creditors. Former employees, the IRS, the City of Newport and a handful of vendors have filed liens and lawsuits. The nightclub went bankrupt, the magazine folded and BENRUS needs new capital. His Newport mansion is leveraged to the hilt, and his few remaining employees are paid only in shares. Personally, he says he feels betrayed by those who’ve left and filed lawsuits. He calls them ‘disloyal’ and ‘weak.’”

Feroce: “I get extremely offended by anybody who [expletive] questions me. OK? Because I do nothing but put me, my family, my children, all of us, on the line to help the state of Rhode Island.” (Providence Journal)

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