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Is the R.I. treasurer’s race about to heat up?

The Rhode Island State House.Jonathan Wiggs/Globe Staff

Happy Monday! I’m Ed Fitzpatrick and I wouldn’t be a bit surprised if Dan McGowan comes back from Vegas with a “Rhode Map” face tattoo. Follow me on Twitter @FitzProv or send tips to

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Rhode Island has a high level of transmission: 128.3 total new cases per 100K population in the past 7 days

Vaccinated with two shots: 80.4 percent

Vaccinated with booster: 38.4 percent

New cases: 193 with a 3.2 percent positive rate (on Friday)

Currently hospitalized: 142

Total deaths: 3,406

More stats from the R.I. Department of Health

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Leading off

At this rate, Rhode Island will need a March Madness-style bracket to keep track of all the candidates for the 2nd Congressional District (The Neary/Moquin play-in game is still too close to call).

By contrast, former Central Falls Mayor James A. Diossa finds himself all by his lonesome in the race to replace the term-limited Seth Magaziner as state treasurer.

But that could soon change, as several Democrats are thinking of jumping into the race, and Republicans are looking for another candidate now that former Cranston mayor Allan W. Fung has decided to join Magaziner (and a good chunk of the populace) in the CD2 race.

Here’s the latest:

Rhode Island Commerce Secretary Stefan Pryor provided a statement Sunday, saying, “As I work with my Commerce colleagues to finalize some key projects and launch some key programs, I am seriously considering a run. I am grateful for the outreach from and encouragement of so many friends and supporters, and we will have more to say about our plans in the very near future.”

Pryor has not opened a campaign account with the state Board of Elections. But in a telling sign, supporters also offered statements. Melissa Travis, president/CEO of the Rhode Island CPAs/RI Business Forum, said, “With his track record working as the economic development point person across two governors’ administrations, I cannot imagine anyone more suited for the office of treasurer.”


Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ryan W. Pearson, a Cumberland Democrat with $129,100 in his campaign account, said he, too, plans to decide soon about whether to run for treasurer.

”It’s a heavy decision since there is a significant amount of work ahead of me in the Senate,” Pearson said. “I enjoy representing Cumberland and Lincoln in the Senate. But treasury is a great office and a great opportunity.”

House Finance Committee Chairman Marvin L. Abney, a Newport Democrat with $184,417 in his campaign account, said, “I’m keeping my options open.”

Right now, Abney said, “I am 1000 percent focused on my responsibilities as House Finance Committee chair and all that that entails for the people of Rhode Island. I want to thank all the people who continue to support my efforts in either endeavor.”

Representative Scott A. Slater, a Providence Democrat with $37,701 in his campaign account, said, “I am thinking of it now more so than ever. It seems wide open. I think it’s an important position for the State of Rhode Island and for many residents.”

Slater noted he is first vice chairman of the House Finance Committee and a budget analyst for the City of Providence.

Nicholas A. Autiello II, who served as a special adviser in former Governor Gina M. Raimondo’s Executive Office of Commerce, said, “I am still considering getting in the race and expect a final decision in the next few weeks.”


Rhode Island Republican Party Chair Sue Cienki said people had assumed Fung would run for treasurer, but now that he has announced he’s running for Congress, two or three Republicans are thinking of entering the treasurer’s race. She declined to name them, but said, “The landscape is shifting.”

The Globe in Rhode Island

⚓ My latest: President Joe Biden’s Supreme Court nominee, Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, once clerked for federal appeals court Judge Bruce M. Selya, a Providence resident and Reagan appointee who says any attempt to portray her as unqualified will fall “flat as a pancake.” Read more.

⚓ My colleague Amanda Milkovits reports that former Republican House candidate Ronald Armand Andruchuk has been charged with illegally stockpiling 211 firearms and pounds of ammo at his home in Burrillville. Read more.

⚓ The Rhode Island Ambulance Service Advisory board, which helps shape the policies and practices of first responders, has been the scene of a years-long power struggle, Brian Amaral reports. Read more.

Alexa Gagosz details how Rhode Island is updating its vaccination and testing strategies as it begins to manage COVID-19 with an “endemic strategy” rather than a “pandemic” one. Read more.

⚓ Elective surgeries are back on. Emergency waiting rooms are no longer crammed with patients. And hospitals around Rhode Island no longer resemble MASH units, even as the state continues to recover from a winter surge in COVID-19. Read more.


⚓ In the latest Ocean State Innovators Q&A, we hear from Luke Fleury, one of the Rhode Islanders who launched Dibbs Technology, which lets contractors, suppliers, and homeowners find construction supplies and services with an app. Read more.

Also in the Globe

⚓ Climate change is impacting the world more quickly than anticipated, and its effects are even more widespread and horrific than previously thought, according to an urgent new report by the world’s top climate scientists. Read more.

Shelley Murphy reports that authorities now suspect a link between a 1991 execution-style murder in Lynn, Mass., and one of Boston’s most famous unsolved crimes: The 1990 theft of masterpieces from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. Read more.

Jess Bidgood writes about how a Georgia primary is testing the power of former President Donald Trump’s endorsements. Read more.

⚓ Columnist Jeneé Osterheldt says hate crimes are hurting everyone as America’s hate culture continues to be an epidemic. Read more.

What’s on tap today

E-mail events to us at

⚓ The Senate Committee on Rules, Government Ethics, and Oversight meets at 5:30 p.m. via WebEx to hear from state education commissioner Angélica Infante-Green and other officials about the state turnaround effort in Providence public schools. Here’s the agenda.

⚓ The Energy Facility Siting Board meets at 9:30 a.m. in Warwick to hold an evidentiary hearing on controversial changes to the Sea 3 Providence LLC liquid propane gas terminal in Providence. Here’s the agenda.


⚓ The Providence Committee on Ward boundaries will meet at 6 p.m. to hear a presentation and comments on the redistricting of the city’s 15 wards. Here’s the agenda.

⚓ The Commission for Health Advocacy and Equity will meet at 9 a.m. via Zoom. Here’s the agenda.

⚓ The Joint Committee on State Lottery meets at 4 p.m. via WebEx to get a facilities update on the Twin River and Tiverton casinos. Here’s the agenda.

Dan McGowan’s latest column

Governor Dan McKee is betting that his ability to speak fluent mayor will deliver him a four-year term. If you missed the column, you can read it here. And all of Dan McGowan’s columns are on our Rhode Island Commentary page.

Rhode Island Report podcast

Ed Fitzpatrick talked to US Representative David Cicilline about Ukraine, the 2nd Congressional District, and more. Listen to all of our podcasts here.

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Edward Fitzpatrick can be reached at Follow him @FitzProv.