PROVIDENCE — Stephanie Beauté, a North Smithfield Democrat, on Monday launched her campaign website, aiming to become the first Black secretary of state in Rhode Island.
Beauté, who describes herself as a “voting rights advocate and woman in tech,” is running in a Democratic primary against state Representative Gregg Amore, an East Providence Democrat. The winner will face Republican Pat Cortellessa, of Cranston. They are vying to succeed Secretary of State Nellie M. Gorbea, a Democrat who is running for governor.
“Some have tried to say that this being my first time in politics is a weakness, that I don’t have the experience. But I see it as a strength,” Beauté said. “I have no agenda here other than to serve the Rhode Islanders who are currently suffering due to the same tired old ways in which their government does business.”
In a statement, she said she is the first Black woman to run for secretary of state, “making her candidacy a historic one for the state.” And she said she is eager to “show a contrast to the politicians who have produced little” while in office.
“Year after year, career politicians read off their legislations about how they’re going to improve the way Rhode Island does business, and year after year, things get progressively worse,” Beauté said. She noted that Rhode Island came in 45th in CNBC’s 2022 rankings for America’s Top States for Business.
Beauté, 35, works as a senior product manager at Hi Marley Inc., a tech start-up in Boston, and previously worked as a technical product manager for GE Digital, according to her LinkedIn profile.
She graduated from Hope High School in Providence, and received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Rhode Island and a master’s degree from the University of Maryland Baltimore County.
“I know what hard work looks like,” Beauté said. “I know how to roll up my sleeves and get things done. I have a track record of looking at complex problems and crafting solutions that work for everyone.”
Amore, who launched his campaign in September 2021, has $161,365 in his campaign account, according to the state Board of Elections. Beauté filed her notice of organization on June 29 and has not yet reported any campaign fund-raising.
Amore issued a statement on Monday, saying, “Democracy functions best when voters are presented with choices. It is up to the candidates to share who they are, why they are qualified, and what their vision is for the seat they’re seeking.”
Amore said he is proud of legislative accomplishments that include expanding voter access, protecting victims of domestic violence, curbing gun violence, protecting a woman’s right to choose, creating a funding source for English Language Learners, and leading the way on public school construction. “I look forward to continuing discussions about these important issues, and my plans for this office, with voters all across Rhode Island,” he said.
Edward Fitzpatrick can be reached at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @FitzProv.