Former White House staffer Amo latest candidate seeking Congress

PROVIDENCE – A 12th confirmed Democratic candidate is pursuing Rep. David N. Cicilline’s soon-to-be-open seat in the U.S. House.

Gabe Amo, a Pawtucket native, has launched Tuesday his respective campaign for Congress, seeking the 1st Congressional District seat. Cicilline, a Democrat who has served in Congress for 11 years, will be leaving Congress in June to become the next CEO and president of the Rhode Island Foundation.

Amo, though, is the first candidate in the race who has had experience working in Washington, D.C. – specifically in the White House – which he said he hopes to bring that experience to the U.S. Capitol.

During the Obama administration, Amo, he said, worked in the White House Office of Intergovernmental Affairs as a liaison to governors and state elected officials. Most recently, Amo served as the WHOIA’s deputy director and special assistant to President Joe Biden. In that role, Amo was Biden’s principal liaison to mayors and local elected officials.

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Locally, Amo at one time was then Gov. Gina M. Raimondo’s principal advisor on outreach to businesses and labor, faith groups, local government, grassroots organizations and communities of color.

Amo said in a statement he has seen “first-hand what’s at stake” for the country. He claims Republicans in Congress “want to cut Social Security and Medicare, ban abortion nationally, and they’re doing nothing to combat senseless gun violence and climate change or to lower costs.”

“I know this great community and I also know how government works,” Amo said. “I want to put that experience to work for all of us in the 1st District. There’s so much at stake and that’s why I’ve left the White House to fight for the people of the 1st Congressional District.  Our people need a Representative who will deliver for them on day one.”

Other confirmed candidates pursuing Cicilline’s seat are Lt. Gov. Sabina Matos, Rep. Nathan W. Biah, D-Providence, Providence City Councilor John Goncalves, Sen. Sandra Cano, D-Pawtucket, former secretary of state candidate Stephanie Beaute, former Gina M. Raimondo aide Nick Autiello, former state representative Aaron Regunberg, Sen. Ana B. Quezada, D-Providence and Rep. Marvin J. Abney, D-Newport, Yale Law School Joseph C. Tsai Leadership Program Senior Executive Director Don Carlson and former Republican turned Democrat Allan Waters.

No Republican has yet to declare his or her candidacy for Cicilline’s seat.

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