Working Families Party is still new to the Ocean State but they are looking to be a major force in this cycle’s legislative primaries for candidates that share their values of economic, racial and social justice. Today, RI Working Families Party announced the endorsement of six champions for these values with more to follow in August.
“We have been carefully evaluating every candidate that is running in the primaries this September. These six really stand out as great campions for working families’ priorities and races where the core values of economic, racial and social justice are really at stake on September 13th,” said Georgia Hollister Isman, Rhode Island Working Families State Director.
The list of endorsements includes two State Senate race and four in the State House. Two incumbent legislators, two candidates running in open seats, and two challengers taking on more conservative Democrats already in office. Endorsed candidates include:
- Rep. Teresa Tanzi (HD 34)—Rep. Tanzi has been a champion for a whole host of progressive causes in the State House including labor, environmental protection and public education.
- Rep. Kathy Fogarty (HD 35)—Rep. Fogarty has made her mark in her first term championing and passing a bill to require all kids to have access to recess and outside play at school.
- Jason Knight (HD 67)—A lawyer and active community member, Jason Knight is taking on longtime incumbent Rep. Jan Malik. There is a clear different between the two on economic justice issues as well as reproductive choice and LGBT rights.
- Susan Donovan (HD 69)—Susan Donovan is a retired teacher and knows firsthand how issues of economic justice play out for our kids.
- Dennis Lavallee (SD 17)—A labor organizer and small business owner, Dennis is keenly aware of the struggles of working families and is running to ensure we create public policies that work for them.
- Jeanine Calkin (SD 30)—Jeanine Calkin came to electoral politics through the Bernie Sanders campaign, organizing the whole middle of the state toward his April victory in the Ocean State. Now, she is hoping to advance the values she shared with Sanders in the State Senate. She is taking on longtime incumbent Sen. Walaska.
“I am delighted to have the endorsement of Rhode Island Working Families Party. They are such valuable ally in the fight for justice for working men and women. Both for this election and in long run, it is great to have them organizing here,” said Rep. Tanzi.
“For a first time candidate like me, having a group that really knows how to campaign and win for candidates like me is a big deal,” said Dennis Lavallee.
Between now and the September 13th primary, WFP will be organizing the thousands of Rhode Islanders that have joined its ranks into an active force in these elections as well as providing help and support directly to these campaigns through the newly formed Rhode Island Working Families PAC.
Later in the summer, RI WFP will endorse in a few more Primaries and in the early fall they will endorse a slate of candidates in the general election.
Rhode Island Working Families advocates for policies that support economic, racial and social justice in the Ocean State. In the coming months, RIWF will focus on establishing paid sick time for Rhode Island workers and raising the minimum wage to $15 and hour.