- Associated Press - Tuesday, August 26, 2014

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) - Clay Pell’s surrogates are hitting back against an opponent’s claim that he’s inexperienced and lacks the qualifications to be Rhode Island governor.

The Democrat’s campaign on Tuesday released statements from three people who worked with Pell, including Thomas Donilon, the former national security adviser to President Barack Obama. Donilon said Pell’s abilities, experience and service in the administration have “prepared him to lead.”

Pell served as director of strategic planning for the National Security Council. He also served briefly at the U.S. Education Department and is a Coast Guard reserve officer.

Former Education Undersecretary Martha Kanter called Pell a “tremendous leader and contributor to the administration.” An ex-Coast Guard vice commandant also praised Pell’s leadership.

Providence Mayor Angel Taveras has been trying to hammer Pell on aspects of his resume.

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