Democrat Maria Bucci has assembled a campaign team of experienced political hands as she gets ready to formally announce her run for mayor of Cranston.

Bucci, a former city councilor, is set to run against At-Large Councilman Steve Stycos in the Democratic primary.

Statecraft Strategies, the consulting firm run by Erich Haslehurt and Jamie Rhodes, will manage Bucci's campaign.

Haslehurst has won a string of victories in legislative races and lobbied for groups including the Rhode Island Coalition Against Gun Violence and IGT. Rhodes is a former director of public policy and government relations for Planned Parenthood of Southern New England.

Bucci is expected to announce her run soon, possibly later this week.

Kate Coyne-McCoy, an experienced campaign adviser and former regional director for EMILY’s List, said that she and George Zainyeh, a lobbyist and former chief of staff for then-Gov. Lincoln Chafee, will advise Bucci’s campaign.

Finally, longtime lobbyist Wally Gernt said he will also assist the campaign.

“I think that Maria has an enormous amount of talent and commitment,” Gernt said. “She gets along with people; she listens to people.”

Bucci has about $56,000 in her campaign account – a bit less than the $60,000 in Stycos’ account – although she is considered to have a strong ability to self-fund her campaign. Stycos has proven a strong vote-getter in recent elections.

Cranston will elect a new mayor later this year since term limits prevent incumbent Allan Fung, who was first elected in 2008, from seeking re-election.

On the Republican side, GOP candidates Michael Farina, now the City Council president and At-Large Councilor Ken Hopkins will square off in the September primary.