The husband of Olympic figure skating champion Michelle Kwan announced on Monday he would run for governor of Rhode Island this year.

Clay Pell is a Democrat and the grandson of the late Sen. Claiborne Pell (D-R.I.). 

The candidate announced in a two-minute video that he could help “restore hope in economic growth” in his state. 

"As an officer in the Coast Guard, I led men and women in uniform. As director of strategic planning for President Obama's national security team, I worked to ensure that resources were redirected to areas of growth and opportunity," he said in the video. 


The kickoff video includes photos of Pell and Kwan with President Obama in the Oval Office.

Pell vowed to not accept donations from state lobbyists or political action committees in an effort to get rid of “cronyism” and “insider politics.”

His grandfather was a six-term senator serving in Congress from 1961-1997. He is known as the namesake of the federal Pell Grant, which provides financial aid to college students. 

The younger Pell will challenge state General Treasurer Gina Raimondo and Providence Mayor Angel Taveras in the Democratic primary in September.

Gov. Lincoln Chafee (D) announced last September he wouldn’t run for reelection. The former GOP senator was elected in 2010 as an independent. But after officially becoming a Democrat last year, winning the nomination wasn't a sure thing.