2017-07-06 / Front Page

Five pledge to attend candidates forum

State Senate hopefuls will square off at July 13 debate

Five of the seven candidates vying to represent Jamestown in the state Senate have agreed to attend a July 13 forum on the island.

Democrats David Allard, John Florez and David Hanos, Republican Michael Smith, and independent Kimberly Ripoli will participate from 6-8 p.m. at the recreation center, 41 Conanicus Ave. Democrat Dawn Euer has not committed yet to the forum, citing a potential scheduling conflict for that evening. Green Party candidate Gregory Larson said he will not attend.

The four Democrats will battle for their party’s nomination just five days later in the July 18 primary. The winner will face the other three contenders in an Aug. 22 special election for the District 13 Senate seat formerly held by Teresa Paiva Weed. The former Senate president resigned in March after a quarter-century representing Jamestown and Newport to take a job as president of the Hospital Association of Rhode Island.

The candidates’ forum is being co-sponsored by the League of Women Voters of Rhode Island and The Jamestown Press. Candidates will respond to questions on a range of issues affecting Jamestown and Rhode Island.

“Jamestown is a unique community with residents who care about our local issues and this forum will offer a close-up and personal engagement with our candidates who wish to be a voice for residents of Conanicut Island at the State House,” said Jane Koster, the league’s president.

“We encourage all residents to attend this candidates’ night and hear what they have to say about the issues vital to our town,” said Robert Berczuk, publisher of The Jamestown Press. “By having as much information as possible about each candidate’s views on the pertinent topics facing Jamestown, one can best choose a senator who truly will represent them and most benefit the town.”

After the forum, residents will be able to engage the candidates personally.

The League of Women Voters works to inform and educate citizens on major public policy issues, including health care, the budget, energy costs, the environment, transparency and honesty in government and protecting voting rights.

It was formed from the movement that secured the right to vote for women. It is a grassroots volunteer organization that has fought since 1920 to improve government and engage all citizens in the decisions that impact their lives.

Be a part of it

Residents who want to participate should e-mail their questions for the candidates to news@jamestownpress.com with the subject line “forum question.”

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