Mike Smith, a Newport resident, business owner, and former political candidate will make an official announcement regarding his candidacy for Senate District 13 (Newport, Jamestown) on Tuesday, April 18th.

In 2016, Smith ran unsuccessfully as an Independent against Lauren Carson for House District 75 (Newport). Smith ran unsuccessfully as a Republican against Senate President M. Theresa Paiva-Weed (District 13) in the 2014 election.

The following image promoting the official announcement began to circulate on Facebook on Friday afternoon.
Update: At approximately 4 pm on April 14th, Smith released the following press release;

Michael “Mike” Smith, plans to hold a press conference, along with supporters, regarding his decision on whether to run in the high profile special election for Senate District 13, representing Newport and Jamestown. District 13 is the seat recently vacated by now former Senate President Teresa Paiva Weed.  The event will commence at 12pm, at King Park 143 Wellington Avenue in Newport, RI 02840.  Michael Smith, and members of his staff will be available for press questions following his speech. There will be no official declaration prior to this period.

Smith, 49, is a Newport resident, married, and father of three, is also owner of Industry Electric, Inc, headquartered in Newport.
in 2014, Smith received 46% of the vote, in his first ever run in the closest election the then Senate President ever faced. Paiva Weed spent a thumping $134,000.00 in comparison to Smith’s $10,000.

Paiva Weed, who had been the state senator of District 13 since 1992, announced on March 22nd that she would be resigning from the Senate and would be accepting the presidency of the Hospital Association of Rhode Island, a statewide non-profit organization dedicated to assisting member hospitals to meet the health care needs of Rhode Islanders. Her official resignation took place on March 31st.

Three democrats have announced that they will run for the Senate seat – John Florez, Dawn Euer and David Allardmeaning there will be a primary election before the special election if all three candidates do officially make their declaration of candidacy.

The Rhode Island Secretary of State has announced that the special election to fill Paiva Weed’s Senate seat will be on August 22nd, there will be a Primary on July 18th.

Ryan Belmore is the Publisher of What'sUpNewp. 
Belmore has been involved with What’sUpNewp since shortly after its launch in 2012, proudly leading it to be named Best Local News Blog in Rhode Island by Rhode Island Monthly readers in 2018, 2019, and 2020 and an honorable mention in the Common Good Awards in 2021.

Born and raised in Rhode Island, Belmore graduated from Coventry High School and the Community College of Rhode Island. In addition to living in Newport for 10 years, he has lived in Portsmouth, Coventry, Providence, Smithfield, Burrillville, and East Greenwich.

Belmore currently serves as Vice President of the Board Of Directors for Fort Adams Trust and on the Board of Directors for Potter League For Animals. He previously served on the Board of Lucy's Hearth and the Arts & Cultural Alliance for Newport County.

Belmore and his wife, Jen, currently live in Alexandria, Virginia, a move they made in 2021. Read more about that here - https://whatsupnewp.com/2021/09/letter-from-the-publisher-some-personal-news/

Belmore visits Newport every couple of weeks to support the 12+ paid contributors What'sUpNewp has on the ground across Rhode Island, a place he called home for 39 years.

Belmore is a member of Local Independent Online News (LION) Publishers, Society of Professional Journalists, and the North American Snowsports Journalists Association.

In 2020, Belmore was named Member of the Year by LION and won the Arts & Cultural Alliance of Newport County's Dominque Award.
Belmore can be contacted at ryan@whatsupnewp.com and 401-662-1653.