Lt. Gov. Matos to run for Congress

PROVIDENCE – The state’s lieutenant governor is the first to officially throw her proverbial hat into the race to succeed Rep. David N. Cicilline in the U.S. House.

Democrat Sabina Matos formally announced Monday she will run for the 1st Congressional District seat in the U.S. House that will be vacated in early June and she will launch her campaign next month. Matos, who was president of the Providence City Council before she was appointed by Gov. Daniel J. McKee as lieutenant governor in 2021, was formally elected as Rhode Island’s lieutenant governor in November, defeating Republican challenger Aaron C. Guckian.

Cicilline, a former Providence mayor who served in the House for 11 years, will step down from his seat in the U.S. Capitol and become the Rhode Island Foundation’s next CEO and president on June 1.

Matos said in a statement she’s running for Congress because the state “deserves a champion” who is deeply connected and committed to various communities around Rhode Island. She also says society is facing “an important moment in Washington” and she is “ready to roll up [her] sleeves” to fight for what Rhode Islanders need, such as affordable housing, reproductive freedoms, solving the climate crisis and “threats to our democracy.”

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“I’ve worked on these important issues and have led during challenging times in my years as president of the Providence City Council and as [lieutenant] governor. I’m looking forward to talking with voters across the First District about putting my experience to work for them in Congress,” Matos said. “Congressman David Cicilline has served our state with great distinction and we owe him a debt of gratitude for his lifelong commitment to public service. He leaves big shoes to fill and I’m committed to doing my part to ensure that Rhode Islanders continue to have a strong voice in Washington.”

Matos, originally from the Dominican Republic and immigrated to the U.S. at age 20, served 10 years on the city council, including a term as its president. In her time on the council, Matos, she said, capitalized the Providence Housing Trust fund, a municipal funding source for the construction of affordable housing capitalized by tax-stabilization agreement payments. She also added that she helped overhaul the city’s tax-stabilization ordinance to ensure developers who received tax relief agreements also abided by local employment, apprenticeship and procurement requirements to build affordable housing.

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.