Former Providence, R.I., Mayor Vincent "Buddy" Cianci said he will launch an effort to reclaim City Hall.

Cianci, Providence's longest serving mayor, announced June 25 on his WPRO talk show that he will run again, this time as an independent. He announced his decision just minutes before the filing deadline, ending months of speculation.

He spent more than two decades as mayor, in two separate stints that both ended in resignation.

The city native first took office in 1975, then resigned in 1984 after pleading no contest following an assault on a man he throught was involved with his then-wife. Elected again in 1990, he resigned in 2002 after his conviction on federal racketeering charges. He served five years.

"We have lost our self-esteem, not only as a city, but as a state," Cianci said on his radio show. Cianci praised incumbent Mayor Angel Taveras for closing a $110 million deficit and keeping Rhode Island's capital out of bankruptcy. He called for bolstering the city's tourism industry and working to add international flights to T.F. Green Airport in Warwick.

Taveras is a Democratic candidate for governor.

Cianci joins a crowded field of candidates including City Council President Mike Solomon, former Board of Regents chairman Lorne Adrain, former Housing Court Judge Jorge Elorza, former Water Supply Board Chairman Brett Smiley, perennial candidate Christopher Young, and Dan Harrop.

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