Michelle Kwan’s competitive figure skating days may be over, but husband Clay Pell’s time in the similarly fierce world of politics is just ramping up: The democrat announced his candidacy for governor of Rhode Island this week.
Clay is new to the political arena, but likely learned a few lessons from his late grandfather Claiborne Pell. A six-term U.S. Senator, Claiborne is best-known on a national level for sponsoring Pell Grants, which provide financial aid to college students.
Although this is Clay’s first election, his impressive resume includes an undergraduate degree from Harvard and a law degree from Georgetown University. Clay then served in the Coast Guard before becoming Director for Strategic Planning on the national security team. Most recently, Clay was appointed Deputy Assistant Secretary at the Department of Education.
Clay and Michelle met in 2011, years after she earned a silver medal in the 1998 Olympics and bronze medal in the 2002 Olympics. The power couple wed last year in Providence, Rhode Island.
Even with the benefits of a famous wife and family, Clay faces an uphill battle in the gubernatorial race. He first has to beat two notable candidates in the September primary election. If he does that, he must contend with the Republican candidate during the November election.