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A running list of possible candidates for Cicilline’s congressional seat

Representative David Cicilline, a Democrat from Rhode Island, speaks during a bill enrollment ceremony for H.R. 8408, the Respect for Marriage Act, at the US Capitol in Washington, DC, US, on Thursday, Dec. 8, 2022.Al Drago/Bloomberg

PROVIDENCE — US Representative David N. Cicilline’s surprise announcement that he is leaving office to become president and CEO of the Rhode Island Foundation effective June 1 has opened the floodgates for politicians to mull their options, meet with advisers, talk with their families, pray, or immediately rule out jumping in the race for the First Congressional District.

A special election cannot be scheduled until Cicilline officially resigns from Congress, but it’s likely that Democratic and Republican primaries take place this summer, with a general election to follow.

Here’s a look at who’s running, who is considering entering the race, and who has already said they will not be a candidate. (The list is in alphabetical order.)


Running for CD1

Nicholas A. Autiello II

Former state Senate candidate

He finished a distant third in a Democratic primary when he ran for state Senate in 2018, but he has the political connections and fund-raising network to compete in a large field. Read more

Nathan Biah

State representative (Providence)

His first two terms in the state Legislature have been unremarkable, but Biah has a great personal story (from fleeing Liberia to becoming a high school principal in Providence). He’s going to have to prove that he can raise enough money to increase his name recognition. Read more

Sandra Cano

State senator (Pawtucket)

Cano has quietly but swiftly moved up the ranks in the Senate since she won her seat in a special election in 2018 (she now chairs the Education Committee), but like most of the other candidates in the race so far, she isn’t widely known throughout the district. Read more

Stephen Casey

State representative (Woonsocket)

He has mostly kept a low profile in his six terms in the House, although he is chairman of the Municipal Government and Housing Committee. It has been a long time since he had a real opponent in any of his elections, but he could have the ability the corner the market on a lot of votes in part of the First District.


John Goncalves

Councilman (Providence)

It may sound like a huge leap for a councilman to run for Congress, but consider this: Goncalves has been the most prolific fund-raiser on the council since he burst on the scene in 2020, bringing in more than $190,000. Read more

Sabina Matos

Lieutenant governor

Matos is the only person in the race right now with any district-wide name recognition at all, which makes her the early favorite. Read more

Allen Waters

Frequent candidate

He lost to Cicilline by 28 percentage points as the Republican nominee for this seat last year, but is switching gears to run as a Democrat.

Never say never

  • Gabe Amo, President Biden aide (D)
  • Dino Autiello, North Providence council president (D)
  • Stephanie E. Beauté, former secretary of state candidate (D)
  • Bob DaSilva, East Providence mayor (D)
  • Dawn Euer, state senator (D-Newport)
  • Barbara Ann Fenton-Fung, state representative (R-Cranston)
  • Gayle L. Goldin, US Labor Department (D)
  • Don Grebien, Pawtucket mayor (D)
  • Aaron Guckian, former lieutenant governor candidate (R)
  • Meghan E. Kallman, state senator (D-Pawtucket)
  • Patrick C. Lynch, former attorney general (D)
  • Joe Paolino III, son of former Providence mayor (D)
  • Ryan W. Pearson, state senator (D-Cumberland)
  • J. Aaron Regunberg, former state representative (D)
  • Maria Rivera, Central Falls mayor (D)

Not running

  • Lorne Adrain, former Providence mayoral candidate (D)
  • Gregg M. Amore, secretary of state (D)
  • Christopher R. Blazejewski, state representative (D-Providence)
  • James A. Diossa, state general treasurer (D)
  • Louis P. DiPalma, state senator (D-Middletown)
  • Brendan Doherty, former state police superintendent (D)
  • Helena Buonanno Foulkes, former CVS executive (D)
  • Jorge O. Elorza, former Providence mayor (D)
  • Nirva LaFortune, former Providence councilwoman (D)
  • Bill Lynch, former Democratic Party chair (D)
  • Daniel J. McKee, governor (D)
  • Cynthia Mendes, former state senator (D)
  • Peter F. Neronha, attorney general (D)
  • Joe Paolino, former Providence mayor (D)
  • Clay Pell, former gubernatorial candidate (D)
  • Stefan Pryor, Rhode Island housing secretary (D)
  • Gina M. Raimondo, US commerce secretary (D)
  • Deb Ruggiero, former state representative (D)
  • K. Joseph Shekarchi, House speaker (D-Warwick)
  • Brett Smiley, Providence mayor (D)
  • Angel Taveras, former Providence mayor (D)
  • Xay Khamsyvoravong, Newport mayor (D)

Dan McGowan can be reached at dan.mcgowan@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter at @danmcgowan. Edward Fitzpatrick can be reached at edward.fitzpatrick@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @FitzProv.