Last week the Democrats running in the Democrat primary for Senate District 13 seat, vacated by Senate President Paiva-Weed, held their forum.  The two-hour session offered nothing new from the four candidates. They continue to advocate for the same old tired tax and spend agenda that has led our state to the bottom of most economic indicators, and forced families and 70% of college students to leave our community and our state to find better jobs, and more affordable living.

Likewise, the Democrat candidates failed to address the growing exodus of Newport and Jamestown’s year-round population, which has dropped 50 % in the last 40 years, and is expected to continue to plummet.

Nowhere was there a discussion as to why our schools, despite increased funding, are near bottom in ranking.

Nowhere was there a discussion as to why Rhode Island is ranked the 50th worst State in which to operate a business.  Sadly, they also failed to offer ideas on what they would do to increase the number and quality of jobs.

Instead of dealing with over taxation and wasteful spending, they instead called to put more ‘lipstick on the pig’ by proudly advocating for more crushing taxes, unproven programs, and job-killing regulations.

These Democrat candidates are clearly out of touch with the plight of average Newport and Jamestown residents.

It is time to set a new course where public officials are held accountable for the waste and misuse of tax payer’s dollars. It is time for a new leaf, as we, the voters, ask for public servants.  We need elected officials who place our best interests above theirs and who, instead of pushing pet projects of their chosen donors, work to improve financial security and brighter futures for all hardworking Rhode Islanders. The residents of Newport and Jamestown are tired of the status quo which has forced so many, tired of a stagnant economy, to leave their lifelong homes.

We need a year-round economy, and a focus on restoring individual prosperity and small business vitality.

Rhode Island’s Democrat leaders have given Rhode Island a weak and struggling economy and tepid job creation. It has delivered a crushing tax burden to hardworking Rhode Islanders.  It has failed our children and our schools who need the good schools for brighter futures.

My opponents want to double down on the policies that have failed average families.  I have better ideas and a clear vision for reforms to return our state to prosperity for all. I welcome your help and support for a better, brighter future for Rhode Island.

Michael “Mike” Smith

Candidate Senate District 13

Ryan Belmore is the Owner and Publisher of What's Up Newp. He was born and raised in Rhode Island and graduated from Coventry High School. He serves as Vice President of Fort Adams Trust and serves on the Board of Directors for Potter League for Animals. Ryan also is currently the Senior Editor - North America for Mountain News, publisher of OnTheSnow. Ryan is a member of Local Independent Online News (LION) Publishers and North American Snowsports Journalists Association (NASJA).