Gregory Larson, the Newport resident who had filed to run as the Green Party candidate for the state Senate seat that was vacated by M. Teresa Paiva Weed this spring, has failed to file his final campaign finance report, required seven days before the August 22 election.
Larson also has not returned phone calls or emails asking about the status of his campaign, and did not respond to invitations to participate in a candidates’ forum that was held yesterday (August 15) at the studios of WADK radio, sponsored by WADK and WhatsUpNewp.
Larson’s last finance report filing, in late July, showed a zero balance, no campaign contributions, and no campaign expenditures.
Meanwhile, the other three candidates all filed their finance reports on time, and participated in the two-hour candidates’ forum.
“I have yet to meet Mr. Larson,” said Republican candidate Michael Smith. “He has not attended one campaign event. A lot (of people) have asked me why he filed and got the required signatures, then disappeared. I would have looked forward to hearing his viewpoints.”
Larson’s affiliation with the Green Party is also puzzling. The party’s website does not list him as a candidate, and it appears Larson is registered as a Democrat, according to the latest filings with the Secretary of State.
Larson also apparently filed in the past to run for state Representative. Larson, who collected 118 signatures to qualify as a candidate, will be listed on the August 22 ballot.
Paiva Weed, who was the Senate President, resigned in the spring to take the position as executive director of the Hospital Association of Rhode Island.
Dawn Euer, a lawyer and community organizer, who is the Democratic candidate, has been an aggressive fundraiser, collecting some $12,075 from individuals, $1,700 from Political Action Committees, and $1,000 from the Newport Democratic City Committee since the last filing in late July. After expenses, she reported a balance of $14,494.95. A fundraising event was also scheduled for tonight (August 16).
She has received support from top Democrats around the state, including U.S. Senators Sheldon Whitehouse and Jack Reed, and U.S. Rep. David Cicilline, and several members of the General Assembly. State Sen. Edith Ajello, D-Providence, the leading advocate to persuade the legislature to make Roe v. Wade the law in Rhode Island, as a hedge against any reversal by the U.S. Supreme Court, is among Euer’s contributors. Euer, in the debate, said she supports Ajello’s legislative effort. In this past legislative session, the bill was held for further study by both the House and Senate.
Republican Smith’s report shows a balance of $1,811.88 as of the August 15 filing, after raising $900 from individuals and $500 from the Republican party, and after expenses, since his last filing in late July.
Independent Kim Ripoli, who also said she supports Ajello’s legislation, raised $300 in contributions she made to her own campaign since the late July filing, and an ending balance of $289.33.