NewsRadio 920 WHJJ and the Associated Press

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Former Rhode Island Gov. Philip Noel has endorsed Treasurer Gina Raimondo for governor in the Democratic primary.

The Providence Journal reports that Noel praised Raimondo for her role in crafting and winning support for the sweeping 2011 pension overhaul. He says it's evidence she is "the right person at the right time."

Providence Mayor Angel Taveras, Clay Pell and Todd Giroux also are seeking the Democratic nomination.

Noel, who was governor from 1973 through 1976, said the pension problem had long been neglected. He said Raimondo knew what had to be done, that fixing the problem wouldn't be easy and had political costs.

The state's public sector unions and retirees are suing over the pension, which is intended to save Rhode Island $4 billion over the next 20 years.