2008-06-26 / Front Page

Two Jamestown women announce bids for state office

By Adrienne Downing

Deb Ruggiero Deb Ruggiero Ruggiero to challenge Long for House seat

The desire for change is what led islander Deb Ruggiero, 50, into the race for a state House of Representatives seat in District 74.

Ruggiero, a democrat, will face off against Rep. Bruce Long, the district's long-term incumbent, in the November election. "He has been in office fo r 28 ye ars. It is ti me for a change and I think I will be a refreshing change for Rhode Islanders."

A native Rhode Islander, she grew up in Lincoln and graduated from Lincoln High School. She earned a dual degree in English and communications from Boston College.

After spending the first 10 ye ars of he r ca reer in br oadcasting as a news anchor and talk show host, she worked in television and radio sales management as national and local sales manager for two different stations.

Currently, she is director of community development for Citadel Broadcasting. She is the creator and host of "Amazing Women," a radio talk show that celebrates the accomplishments of Rhode Island women.

Donna Perry Donna Perry "There are so many issues I can relate to people on," Ruggiero said. "I can feel what the voters are feeling and I am with them. I am very blessed that I have the time and energy to devote to what I see as an opportunity for compelling change in this state."

Ruggiero said her campaign will focus on the "four E's- economy, education, elderly and environment."

She is a founding board member of the Women's Fund of Rhode Island, past president of the board of the American Lung Association of Rhode Island, and serves on the philanthropic committee for the Rhode Island Foundation. She has been an instructor at Providence College since 1992.

Ruggiero has lived in Jamestown for 20 years, is single, an avid golfer and she loves to cook.

Perry wants to represent the interests of her constituents in Senate

Donna Perry is no stranger to politics. The 47-year old Jamestowner is the executive director of the Rhode Island Republican Party and the chairwoman of the Jamestown Town Republican Committee.

She announced on Tuesday her intention to run against incumbent Senator M.Teresa Paiva-Weed of Newport for the District 13 seat.

"I think the time is right for me to seek office," Pe rry said. "We are in a time where mismanagement of state spending is at an all time high and I don't think Senator Paiva-Weed has represented the interests of her constituents. That is what really pushed me into the race."

Perry was born and raised in Cranston. She graduated from St. Mary's Bay View Academy and has a bachelor's degree from Providence College.

Perry has worked in government, politics and media on and off over the past two decades, but she received her first ta ste of po litics as a radio reporter for WPRO, where she covered the General Assembly.

"It was really my first ex posure to politics and I found it very interesting," she said.

After moving to Washington, D.C., she worked on Capitol Hill and for the Republican National Committee. She was affiliated wi th the Women's National Republican Club in New York while living in New York City in the late 1990s.

In recent years, she worked part time in the governor's media office before becoming executive director of the state party. She is a past cochair of Jamestown's Special Education Local Advisory Committee (SELAC).

She is the mother of Ginger, 8, and Nicky, 6, and has had a home in Jamestown for 10 years.

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