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McKee names 10 finalists for lieutenant governor of Rhode Island

The shortlist includes Providence City Council President Matos, former Central Falls Mayor Diossa, Senator DiPalma, and National Committeewoman Beretta-Perik

Governor Daniel J. McKee and his wife Susan McKee greet well wishers after the inaugural ceremony.Pat Greenhouse/Globe Staff

PROVIDENCE — Governor Daniel J. McKee on Thursday whittled a list of applicants for the lieutenant governor’s job down from 81 names to these 10 finalists:

  • Maria Bucci, a former Democratic Cranston City Council member who ran unsuccessfully for mayor in 2020
  • John J. “Jack” Partridge, a Republican-turned-independent who is senior counsel at the Partridge, Snow & Hahn law firm in Providence
  • State Senator Louis P. DiPalma, a Middletown Democrat who is chairman of the Senate Rules, Government Ethics and Oversight Committee
  • James A. Diossa, a Democratic former mayor of Central Falls
  • Elizabeth Beretta-Perik, the Democratic National Committeewoman from Rhode Island
  • State Representative Anastasia P. Williams, a Providence Democrat who is chairwoman of the House Labor Committee
  • Providence City Council President Sabina Matos, a Democrat
  • State Representative Grace Diaz, a Providence Democrat who is chairwoman of the House Democratic Caucus
  • Joanne Giannini, a Democratic former state representative from Providence
  • State Representative Robert D. Phillips, a Woonsocket Democrat

McKee, a Democrat, was elevated to governor after Gina M. Raimondo was confirmed as President Joe Biden’s Secretary of Commerce. The state is not holding a special election for lieutenant governor. Rather, McKee invited people to apply via his transition website, and he will pick his successor.

In an interview on Wednesday, McKee said he expects he expects to make the final decision in about three weeks. “It’s a process that is taking a little bit longer than I would have anticipated when we first started,” he said. “But we have many, many people that showed an interest in helping the state.”

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A total of 81 people applied for the position, and McKee said his team talked to anyone who requested an interview. “We are whittling it down to 10 candidates, or in that range, that are going to be given a second interview,” he said. “And then I’ll be given a handful of people to interview.”

He said some of those who applied might be good candidates for joining his administration or on state boards and commissions.

Insiders expect the choice to come down to Matos, Diossa, DiPalma, and Beretta-Perik. But McKee said, “At this point in time, that decision has not been made.”

McKee cited his accomplishments as lieutenant governor, saying he will be looking for someone “who really understands that office and will use that office as it was intended.”


Edward Fitzpatrick can be reached at edward.fitzpatrick@globe.com. Follow him @FitzProv.