Vincent Albert "Buddy" Cianci, Jr. served as the mayor of Providence, Rhode Island, USA, from 1975 to 1984 and again from 1991 to 2002. Cianci was the longest-serving mayor of Providence, and one of the longest-serving "big city" mayors in United States history, having held office for over 21 years.
Notably, he was forced to resign from office twice due to felony convictions. His first administration ended in 1984 when he pleaded guilty to assault. His second stint as mayor ended when he was forced to resign following his conviction for racketeering conspiracy (running a corrupt criminal enterprise), and he served four years in federal prison.
Cianci was first elected mayor as the candidate of the Republican Party. While in office he declared himself an independent, and as of 2009 he said he had no party affiliation.
Here's how I knew I was going to lose. Lloyd Griffin had been collecting absentee ballots for the election. His people would go to hospitals and the homes of elderly people to help them apply for an absentee ballot. Obtaining an absentee ballot required a notary, and Lloyd was simply helping out people. In fact, he was helping them out so much that he had the ballots mailed directly to his headquarters. When the ballots arrived, he might have taken them to the people who requested them. It's possible. I was told that his people were so nice they would actually help people fill out their ballots. And if, for example, they didn't want to vote for Mayor Cianci, they would happily put an "X" right next to his name.
A few weeks prior to the election, Lloyd came to see me. I was sitting in my office in a crewneck sweater, he was in a combat jacket. He asked, "Mayor, have you ever seen thirty-two hundred absentee ballots in one place?"
"Can't say that I have, Lloyd."
"Would you like to see them?"
"Yes, I would, but I'm not going to touch them. The last thing I want is my fingerprints on them."