The most intriguing Rhode Island General Assembly races of 2020 (Part 1)

The Rhode Island State House.
The Rhode Island State House.Blake Nissen for the Boston Globe

If you have friends or relatives who would like their own free copy of this daily briefing about Rhode Island, tell them they can sign up here.


Happy Thursday and welcome to Rhode Map, your daily guide to everything happening in the Ocean State. I’m Dan McGowan and I think “Hamilton” on Disney Plus might just save the summer. Follow me on Twitter @DanMcGowan or send tips to Dan.McGowan@globe.com.

ICYMI: Rhode Island was up to 16,606 confirmed coronavirus cases on Wednesday, after adding 73 new cases. The state announced six more deaths, bringing the total to 912. There were 104 people in the hospital, 20 in intensive care, and 16 were on ventilators.


The dust has (mostly) cleared, and we now know who is running for the General Assembly this year.

Wednesday was the deadline to declare for office in Rhode Island, and 205 Democrats, Republicans, and independents took initial steps to run for one of the 113 seats in the House and Senate. Every lawmaker is on the ballot this year.

So what are the top races to watch? This is a list that will undoubtedly change in the coming months, but here’s a quick primer on the House races. Tomorrow, we’ll look at the Senate races.

⚓ While most of the interesting races involve heated Democratic primaries, the most high-profile contest is in House District 15 (Cranston), where Speaker Nicholas Mattiello takes on Republican Barbara Ann Fenton-Fung. The speaker is well-funded, and has beat back challenges in the last two elections, but Fenton-Fung is going to have the resources and name recognition (she’s the wife of Cranston Mayor Allan Fung) to run a competitive race.

⚓ House District 17 (Cranston), there was a late surprise when Jacquelyn Baginski tossed her hat in the ring against longtime Representative Robert Jacquard in the Sept. 8 Democratic primary. Baginski, who has been a fund-raiser for House Majority Leader Joseph Shekarchi, should be able to raise a bunch of money against an incumbent who has had few serious opponents in recent election cycles.


⚓ In House District 7 (Providence), Representative Dan McKiernan appears to have a four-way Democratic primary against Angel Subervi, David Morales, and Jessenia Grijalva. Subervi, who works for Mayor Jorge Elorza, has the endorsement of the District 7 Committee, but Morales is a progressive who has been campaigning for quite a while.

⚓ Incumbent Representative Joseph Almeida was strongly considering stepping away in House District 12 (Providence), but he ended up filing paperwork to run in the Democratic primary against Jose Batista and Carlos Cedeno. District 12 is always competitive, and Almeida’s opponents are credible. Batista, who has been eyeing a run for office for a few cycles, runs the Providence External Review Authority, and Cedeno ran for state Senate two years ago.

⚓ Just when you thought she was out, they pulled her back in. Republican Patricia Morgan is running for her old seat in House District 26 (West Warwick, Coventry, Warwick), and she’ll face the winner of the Democratic primary between incumbent Representative James Jackson and Georgette Jackson.

⚓ Former state representative Paul Moura filed to run in a Democratic primary against incumbent Representative Katherine Kazarian in House District 63 (East Providence). Kazarian is popular, but Moura is well-known and should have the resources to mount a serious challenge.



Rhode Map wants to hear from you. If you’ve got a scoop or a link to an interesting news story in Rhode Island, e-mail us at RInews@globe.com.

⚓ With the governors of New York, Connecticut, and New Jersey saying they’ll order a mandatory quarantine for people traveling to their states from places where the coronavirus is spreading rapidly, Governor Gina Raimondo said Rhode Island may need to do the same.

⚓ More from Raimondo: During Phase 3 of the state’s reopening, baseball and softball games will be allowed (hello Little League), but the state will strongly discourage games in close-contact sports like basketball (my social life remains on hold).

⚓ If you really want to feel like a slacker, meet Jon Pincince, who is planning to run across the entire state today for a good cause.

⚓ The U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia dismissed criminal charges against Rhode Islander and former national security adviser Michael Flynn on Wednesday.

⚓ Judge watch: Via Common Cause’s John Marion, here are the applicants who moved forward in the process for filling a state Supreme Court vacancy: Justice Laureen D’Ambra, Justice Melissa Long, Jennine McConaghy, Justice Joseph Montalbano, Senator Erin Lynch Prata, John E. Roberts, Justice Kristin Rodgers, Pamela Toro, and Sam Zurier.


Lifestyle: You can get married at the Boston Public Library for $5,000, but you don’t get very many guests.


Politics: What did Tuesday’s primaries in Kentucky, New York, and North Carolina teach us? James Pindell writes that it’s possible we won’t learn who won the presidency on election night.

Sports: Major League Baseball’s safety guide might be the longest book most players read all year.

Coronavirus: How poor information and leadership problems made the outbreak at the Holyoke Soldiers’ Home worse.


Each day, Rhode Map offers a cheat sheet breaking down what’s happening in Rhode Island. Have an idea? E-mail us at RInews@globe.com.

BIRTHDAYS: Rhode Map readers, if you want a friend or family member to be recognized on Friday, send me an e-mail with their first and last name, and their age.

⚓ US Representatives David Cicilline and Joseph Kennedy III are speaking at this morning’s virtual offshore wind summit. You can register to watch here.

⚓ The Providence school department is hosting a virtual teacher forum at 2:30 p.m. on how best to support students’ social and emotional needs during (and after) the pandemic.

⚓ This sounds fun: The Redwood Library and Athenæum is hosting a discussion on what “Hamilton” the musical gets right and wrong about Alexander Hamilton at 6 p.m.

⚓ Do you ️♥ Rhode Map? Your subscription is what makes it possible. We’ve got a great offer here.

Thanks for reading. Send comments and suggestions to dan.mcgowan@globe.com, or follow me on Twitter @DanMcGowan. See you tomorrow.


Please tell your friends about Rhode Map! They can sign up here. The Globe has other e-mail newsletters on topics ranging from breaking news alerts to sports, politics, business, and entertainment — check them out.

Dan McGowan can be reached at dan.mcgowan@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter at @danmcgowan.