John Robitaille

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John Robitaille
John Robitaille and Michael Steele.jpg
Robitaille (R) and Michael Steele
Personal details
Born (1948-08-14) August 14, 1948 (age 68)
Central Falls, Rhode Island,
Political party Republican
Alma mater Providence College
University of Utah

John Robitaille (/rbˈt/ roh-bə-TY; born August 14, 1948 in Central Falls, Rhode Island) was the Republican party nominee in the 2010 election for Governor of Rhode Island, which he lost to independent candidate Lincoln Chafee on November 2, 2010.

Early life[edit]

Robitaille graduated from North Attleboro High School in 1966 [1] and from Providence College in 1970 with a Bachelor of Science in Business Management. At Providence Robitaille was a member of the ROTC, and Pershing Rifles. He continued his education at the University of Utah from 1974-1976 with a Master of Science in Human Resource Management.[2]

John Robitaille was born in 1948 in Central Falls and was the second of the three children of Roland and Alice Robitaille. They were Catholics who traced their ancestry back to French Canada. The Robitaille family moved to North Attleboro when John was six years old.[3]

Military service[edit]

Robitaille served the United States Army as an officer from 1970-1976. He was recognized for distinguished performance as the most outstanding second lieutenant commissioned in the US Army through the ROTC program nationally. He was a paratrooper where he served in Germany with the First Armored Division and later with Headquarters Special Forces Command at Ft. Bragg where he was promoted to the rank of captain.[4]

Private sector[edit]

After his time in the military, Robitaille worked in labor and employee relations. From 1976-1981 Robitaille worked as an Employee Relations Manager for Frito Lay. From 1981-1986 he worked as an Area Manager in Labor Relations for Continental Can Company. He would later work in public relations and communications from 1985 to 1987, as a General Manager for Total Communications. In April 1987, Robitaille founded his own small business. He was the President and CEO of Perspective Communications Group in Middletown, Rhode Island.[4] In 2008 Robitaille left the company to work for Rhode Island governor, Donald Carcieri where he served as his Senior Advisor of Communications.[5][6]

Political career[edit]

2010 gubernatorial election[edit]

Robitaille first became involved in Rhode Island electoral politics in 2006 when he ran for State Representative but lost by four votes to Amy Rice (D-RI). In December 2009, Robitaille announced his decision to run for Rhode Island governor as a Republican. He resigned from his position as Senior Advisor of Communications for Governor Carcieri in order to campaign full-time.[7]

Robitaille initially polled in single digits compared to Democratic nominee Frank Caprio and Republican-turned-Independent candidate Lincoln Chafee, but managed to take a lead over Caprio and come within the margin of error to Chafee.[8] Chafee won the election, with 36% of the vote to Robitaille's 34% and Caprio's 23%.[9]

Personal life[edit]

Robitaille lives in Portsmouth, Rhode Island with his wife Lynda. He has three children from his first marriage and five grandchildren.


External links[edit]

Party political offices
Preceded by
Don Carcieri
Republican nominee for Governor of Rhode Island
Succeeded by
Allan Fung