Dates for special R.I. congressional election set for Sept. 5 and Nov. 7

VOTERS WITHIN RHODE ISLAND'S 1st Congressional District will take to the polls this fall for the special election on the soon-to-be-vacated seat in the U.S. House of Representatives. / PBN FILE PHOTO
VOTERS WITHIN RHODE ISLAND'S 1st Congressional District will take to the polls this fall for the special election on the soon-to-be-vacated seat in the U.S. House of Representatives. / PBN FILE PHOTO

PROVIDENCE – Voters deciding on Rhode Island’s next congressional member in the U.S. House of Representatives will take to the polls late this summer and in the fall.

Gov. Daniel J. McKee announced Wednesday that the special primary election for the 1st Congressional District seat will be held Sept. 5 and the general election will take place Nov. 7, a schedule similar to a normal election year.

According to the formal writ of election, which McKee will sign on June 1, candidates must declare by June 29-30, and must file their nomination papers to the R.I. Office of the Secretary of State by July 18. Polls will open in Bristol, Barrington, Central Falls, Cumberland, East Providence, Jamestown, Newport, Lincoln, Little Compton, Middletown, Providence, Portsmouth, North Smithfield, North Providence, Pawtucket, Smithfield, Tiverton, Warren and Woonsocket.

“Voting is the hallmark of our democracy, and our goal is to make it as understandable as possible for both candidates and voters to ensure the highest turnout possible,” McKee said in a statement. “Members of Congress play key roles in ensuring that Rhode Island is represented in Washington, D.C., and we want to ensure Rhode Islanders are participating in selecting their next representative.”

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Lt. Gov. Sabina Matos; Rep. Nathan W. Biah, D-Providence; Providence City Councilor John Goncalves, Sen. Sandra Cano, D-Pawtucket; and former Gina M. Raimondo aide Nick Autiello – all Democrats – have all confirmed their respective candidacies to succeed Rep. David N. Cicilline, D-R.I., in Washington, D.C. Cicilline is stepping down on June 1 after 11 years in U.S. Congress to become CEO and president of the Rhode Island Foundation.

No Republican has yet to announce his or her candidacy for the seat. Rhode Island Republican Party representatives did not immediately respond to Providence Business News’ requests for comment on when, or if, the party will introduce a candidate for the seat.

James Bessette is the PBN special projects editor, and also covers the nonprofit and education sectors. You may reach him at Bessette@PBN.com. You may also follow him on Twitter at @James_Bessette.

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