Dec. 29 – Rhode Island House District 62 (East Providence and Pawtucket)
Democratic State Representative Betsy Dennigan has resigned her seat to challenge Congressman Jim Langevin and this means that the district will hold a special election to fill her seat. The Rhode Island General Assembly is overwhelmingly controlled by the Democrats, 68-6 with this one vacancy, but Republicans are holding out hope to pick up a seat in this district covering 85% of Pawtucket and 15% of East Providence, bordering the Seekonk River.
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Democrat Mary Duffy Messier is the candidate looking to hold the seat for her party. Recently retired after 34 years as a public school teacher in Cumberland, the Pawtucket resident has never run for public office before.
Republican Thomas Clupny will hope to make deep inroads amongst voters in Pawtucket while turning out the vote in his native East Providence. Currently director of environmental affairs for the Rhode Island Public Transit Authority, his website can be found here.
Independent candidate Paul Dinsmore, an attorney also from East Providence, is a frequent candidate in various Rhode Island races, having run and lost every two years since 1988. Maybe this year will be different.