Our Candidates

Rhode Island Working Families Party has endorsed candidates for the upcoming 2018 Rhode Island General Assembly races. These working families champions are the kind of leaders we need more of at the State House to move issues like fair pay, $15 an hour minimum wage, and other measures to benefit working families. Click on the candidate’s names to learn more

Rhode Island State House


Laufton Ascencao is running for State Rep. in an open seat in HD 68 in Bristol and Warren. He worked for Working Families Party in our fight to win earned sick days–organizing thousands of Rhode Islanders to send postcards to the State House. Since then he has organized the East Bay WFP Local Branch, engaging hundreds of activists. He has also been an organizer for a real response to climate change in RI.

 

 

 

Rep. Jean Phillipe Barros represents Pawtucket (HD59) in the House. He is dedicated to addressing income inequality and creating an economy that works for working families.

 

 

 

 

Rep. David Bennett is a nurse and member of SEIU 1199NE. He represents Warwick (HD20) in the House. He has been a consistent champion for working people, fighting to increase the minimum wage and essential benefits for the workers who desperately need them.

 

 

Justine Caldwell is taking on a Republican incumbent in HD 30 in East Greenwich. She has a background as an organizer and is deeply involved in her community. She is an outspoken advocate for a woman’s right to choose and ending gun violence.

 

 

 

Liana Cassar is running for the open seat in HD 66, representing Barrington. She’s a public health professional and is active in campaigns to improve schools and help elect local Democrats.

 

 

 

 

Rep. Susan Donovan is just finishing her first term in the House representing Bristol and Portsmouth (HD69). She is the lead sponsor of the Fair Pay bill and a consistent voice for working families.

 

 

 

 

 

Rep. Kathy Fogarty represents South Kingstown (HD35) in the House. She is a mover and shaker on behalf of working people and especially women in the House.

 

 

 

Rep. Katherine Kazarian represents East Providence (HD63) in the House. She has been a champion for accessible reproductive health care for women and a fairer economy for all.

 

 

 

 

Rebecca Kislak is running for the open seat in HD 4 in Providence. As President of RINOW, she helped pass last year’s earned sick days bill.

 

James Jackson is a seeing election to the Rhode Island House of Representatives to represent District 26.

   

Rep. Jason Knight ousted a conservative Democratic incumbent in 2016 in Barrington and Warren (HD67). Since then, he has worked hard to move progressive change in the House, especially around gun safety, reproductive rights, and criminal justice policy.

 

 

 

Mario Mendez is challenging a more conservative Democratic incumbent in HD 13 (including parts of Providence and Johnston). He grew up in the district and is passionate about improving the public schools and raising the minimum wage.

 

Lauren Neidel was an organizer for Bernie Sanders in Rhode Island. She is running in HD 40 (Glocester and Foster) against a Republican incumbent. She is dedicated to building progressive power in northern RI.

 

 

 

Rep. Marcia Ranglin-Vassell is running for re-election in HD 5 in Providence. Two years ago Marcia’s stunning upset of the then House Majority leader made the whole state pay attention. In the House, she is the lead champion of $15 an hour minimum wage and a tenacious advocate for communities of color.

 

 

 

Michael Steiner is challenging a Republican representative in his hometown of Scituate (HD41). A Navy veteran, Michael got his start in politics advocating for veterans benefits. He has also been active in advocating for voting reforms that make it easier to access the polls.

 

 

Rep. Teresa Tanzi is running for re-election in HD 34–Wakefield, Peacedale, and Narragansett. This year she has been the leading voice in the State House pushing to reform the culture to become one where sexual harassment is never tolerated. She is a long time champion for workers and the environment.

 

 

Rep. Moira Walsh is running for re-election in HD 3 in Providence. Moira got her start in politics as a server advocating for higher wages for wait staff. In 2016, she beat a conservative Democratic incumbent. She is a strong advocate for low wage workers and immigrants and she is a consistent voice on ending mass incarceration.

 

 

Karen Alzate, HD 60

Ernest Nardolillo, Independent for HD 29

Rhode Island State Senate


 

Jennifer Douglas is challenging a Republican incumbent in SD 32 (Charlestown, Exeter, Hopkinton, Richmond, and West Greenwich). She is an activist who supports health care for all, including access to reproductive health services.

 

 

 

Sen. Dawn Euer is running for re-election in SD 13 in Newport and Jamestown. Elected with WFP support in a special election less than a year ago, Dawn has already proven to be an invaluable ally in the Senate. She is a champion for election reform, environmental justice, and women’s rights.

 

 

Michael Fine, Independent for SD 21

Dennis LaValle is a business agent for Teamsters Local 251 and has been fighting for working men and women his whole career. He is running against a Republican incumbent in SD 17 (North Providence, Lincoln, and North Smithfield).

 

 

 

Val Lawson is a long time teacher running in an open seat in SD 14 in East Providence. She has deep roots in her community. She is also a long time union leader in the NEARI, where she has been fighting for teachers, students, and workers.

 

 

 

Melissa Murray is running for an open Senate seat in SD 24 (Woonsocket and North Smithfield). She is currently a Woonsocket City Councilor. She has earned a reputation for supporting small, local businesses and advocating for workers’ rights.

 

 

 

 

Sen. Adam Satchell represents West Warwick (SD9). A teacher, Satchell is a champion for economic justice.

 

 

 

Bridget Valverde is challenging incumbent Republican Senator Mark Gee in SD 35, representing North Kingstown and Narragansett. She is committed to bringing sensible gun laws to Rhode Island and protect a woman’s right to choose.

 

 

 

Providence City Council


 

Rachel Miller is a long-time organizer for worker and racial justice in Providence. She led RI Jobs with Justice, heading up efforts to support workers in action. She is running for an open seat on the Providence City Council (Ward 13) in Federal Hill and the West End.

 

Pawtucket City Council


 

Meghan Kallman is seeking her second term on the Pawtucket City Council. She has been a consistent advocate for workers and an outspoken voice defending immigrant families.

 

 

Cranston City Council


Gail Harvey, City Council at Large, Cranston
John Donegan, City Council, Ward 3, Cranston

Endorsed by Rhode Island Working Families Party and the East Bay Local Branch


Tim Sweeney (Bristol Town Council)

Aaron Ley (Bristol Town Council)

Carly Reich (Bristol School Committee)

Rob Hancock (Bristol School Committee)

Kerri Kronin (Warren Town Council)

June Speakman (Warren Town Council)

Brandt Heckert (Warren Town Council)

Keith Phillis (Warren Town Council)

Jacob Brier (Barrington Town Council)