PROVIDENCE — Former Central Falls Mayor James Diossa won the Democratic nomination for state treasurer Tuesday, besting former state commerce secretary Stefan Pryor in a hotly contested race that saw the two candidates trade barbs over each other’s qualifications over the last month.
With 98 percent of the polling places reporting, Diossa had 55 percent of the vote, according to unofficial results from the state Board of Elections.
Diossa advances to the Nov. 8 general election to face Republican James Lathrop, a municipal finance expert. The winner will succeed term-limited treasurer Seth Magaziner, a Democrat who is running for Congress in Rhode Island 2nd District.
On the campaign trail, Diossa touted his experience as mayor helping tiny Central Falls navigate its way out of bankruptcy. He was endorsed by Governor Dan McKee and most mayors in Rhode Island, along with the state Democratic Party.
Pryor was dismissive of Diossa’s experience throughout the campaign, arguing that as a Yale-educated attorney with deep national connections of US Senator Cory Booker, former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg, and current US Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo, he was more qualified for the job.
Diossa likely begins the general election as a favorite over Lathrop, who most recently worked as finance director for the town of North Kingstown. Lathrop has pitched himself as someone who will not seek to use the treasurer’s office simply to run for higher office.