PROVIDENCE – A whopping 22 candidates thus far – 15 Democrats, three Republicans and four independents – have declared their candidacies in seeking the now vacant 1st Congressional District seat in the U.S. House.
According to the R.I. Secretary of State’s office, Lt. Gov. Sabina Matos; Rep. Marvin J. Abney, D-Newport; Sen Ana B. Quezada, D-Providence; Providence City Councilor John Goncalves, Sen. Sandra Cano, D-Pawtucket, former secretary of state candidate Stephanie Beaute; Yale Law School Joseph C. Tsai Leadership Program Senior Executive Director Don Carlson; former Texas congressional candidate Paul LeBon; former White House staffer Gabe Amo; former Republican turned Democrat Allan Waters; Narragansett Indian Tribe elder Bella Noka; Rep. Stephen M. Casey, D-Woonsocket; Toni Sfameni; Mickeda S. Barnes; and Gregory L. Mundy have officially declared on the Democratic side their runs for U.S. Congress, seeking the seat once held by David N. Cicilline, the former Providence mayor who served 11 years in the U.S. House who is now the CEO and president of the Rhode Island Foundation.
On the Republican side, former Middletown town councilor Terri Flynn, Gerry W. Leonard Jr. and Gary D. Fagnant have declared their runs for Congress. Joseph I.J. Philippe, Julian J. Smith, Richard P. O’Shea and Stephen G. Earle will run as independents.
The 22 candidates confirmed their pushes for the U.S. Capitol in advance of Friday’s 4 p.m. deadline for candidates to declare their campaigns for November’s special election. More candidates are expected to declare.
With multiple candidates declaring thus far from both the Republican and Democratic parties, the two sides are slated to each have primary elections in September.
Other Democratic candidates seeking office, but have yet to formally declare, are former Gina M. Raimondo aide Nick Autiello, former state representative Aaron Regunberg, Michael A. Tillinghast and Walter Berbrick. Rep. Nathan W. Biah, D-Providence, is the lone candidate to date to drop out of the race.
Only four candidates remaining in the race have raised funds for their campaigns through March 31. Matos has raised the most as of the end of March at $126,782, followed by Cano [$122,640], Autiello [$104,330] and Goncalves [$39,549]. Biah as of March 31 raised $310.
The June 30 campaign finance forms are due to the FEC on July 15.
(UPDATE: Story updated to 22 from original 13 candidates formally entering race.)