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Climate Champions Win Big in Rhode Island Primary Election

The Rhode Island General Assembly looks to be getting a bit greener after last week’s elections.

This past Tuesday, September 8th, Rhode Island held our statewide primary election. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, this election looked a bit different than in past years. Usually, we know who the winners are by the end of the night or early the next morning but this year, we had to wait a few days. So we spent a few days biting our nails and constantly refreshing the Board of Elections results page. But it was worth the wait.

When the dust settled and the last mail ballot was counted, Clean Water Action saw 18 of our 19 endorsed candidates with primary opponents win their races. This includes nine candidates that were either seeking an open seat or taking on more conservative incumbents. We also saw a number of our incumbent champions fend off primary challengers and move on to the general election.

Winning their primaries were:

State Senate

Sam Bell (D), District 5

Tiara Mack (D), District 6

Meghan Kallman (D), District 15

Jonathon Acosta (D), District 16

Jeanine Calkin (D), District 30

Kendra Anderson (D), District 31

Alana DiMario (D), District 36

V. Susan Sosnowski (D), District 37

State Representative

David Morales (D), District 7

Grace Diaz (D), District 11

Brandon Potter (D), District 16

Joseph McNamara (D), District 19

Teresa Tanzi (D), District 34

Leonela Felix (D), District 61

Michelle McGaw (D), District 71

Terri Cortvriend (D), District 72

Deborah Ruggiero (D), District 74

Municipal Races

Maria Bucci (D), Mayor, Cranston

After two years of inaction on the climate crisis, on addressing our looming waste and plastic pollution problems, and protecting our valuable open space and forests, it is clear that Rhode Islanders are fed up and are demanding action on the environment, public health, and all of the other intersectional issues.

Each of these endorsed candidates has pledged to prioritize bills that establish mandatory carbon emissions reductions, eliminate PFAS from food packaging and our soils and waters, and address environmental and social injustices, among others. State leaders have dragged their feet on these issues for too long and voters made it clear that the time for inaction and excuses has run out. Clean Water Action congratulates all of these candidates on their primary victories and looks forward to supporting them—alongside number of additional general election endorsees—in November.

Clean Water Action is responsible for the content of this independent expenditure. It is not coordinated with or approved by the candidate or candidate committee. For more information, please contact elections2020@cleanwater.org.