Providence City Councilor Goncalves enters race for Congress

PROVIDENCE CITY COUNCILOR John Goncalves announced Monday that he is running for the soon-to-be-open seat in the U.S. House of Representatives. / COURTESY JOHN GONCALVES
PROVIDENCE CITY COUNCILOR John Goncalves announced Monday that he is running for the soon-to-be-open seat in the U.S. House of Representatives. / COURTESY JOHN GONCALVES

PROVIDENCE – A prominent member of the Providence City Council is now part of a growing contingent on the Democratic side running to succeed David N. Cicilline in the U.S. House.

John Goncalves, the city council’s senior deputy majority leader who chairs the council’s state legislative affairs committee, announced Monday that he is running for Congress, seeking the 1st Congressional District seat in the House. Goncalves is now the fifth confirmed candidate looking to become Rhode Island’s newest congressional member.

Cicilline, who has served in Congress for 11 years, is stepping down on June 1 to become the Rhode Island Foundation’s next CEO and president.

In a statement Monday, Goncalves – who works as the Wheeler School’s diversity, equity and inclusion coordinator – says he is running for Congress in an effort to fight for economic justice, housing, employment, education, gun violence prevention, reproductive rights and “ultimately a more prosperous Rhode Island for our state’s working families.”

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“I bring many diverse perspectives and experiences that could serve as a critical voice for Rhode Islanders nationally,” Goncalves said. “We need responsive and effective leadership with a bold plan and vision for the First Congressional District.”

Goncalves is also the fourth Congressional candidate who is currently holding an elected position – Rep. Nathan W. Biah, D-Providence; Sen. Sandra Cano, D-Pawtucket; and Lt. Gov. Sabina Matos are the others. Nick Autiello, a vice president for Boston-based financial firm State Street Corp. and director of impact for global nonprofit Investor Leadership Network, announced his respective candidacy last week.

Three others have reportedly filed paperwork to run as Democrats: Allen Waters, who ran against Cicilline as a Republican last fall, Rep. Stephen Casey, D-Woonsocket; and newcomer Mickeda Barnes.

No Republican candidate has yet to announce his or her candidacy for the 1st District 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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