For those who thought that no one would care about a Special Election in the midst of summer, you may be wrong.

With just about one week to go before the Special Election Primary on Tuesday, July 18th, more than 350 people from Newport and Jamestown have requested tickets and are expected to attend What’sUpNewp’s Senate District 13 (Jamestown, NewporT) Candidate Forum at Jane Pickens Theater at 5:30 pm this evening.

The number of folks interested in our first candidate forum has even exceeded our expectations, forcing us to open the balcony of the theater and to hire a fire detail for a crowd over 300.

Newport’s Democratic City Committee, The Newport Daily News and Newport County Chamber of Commerce all hosted a candidate forum in June, tonight’s event is expected to see double to triple the crowd size of those events.

Tonight’s discussion will give candidates for Senate District 13 the opportunity to share their views on local and statewide issues ahead of a special election.

The event is free and open to the public, to reserve your seat RSVP HERE. There are also about 100 tickets available for walk-up, they are available on a first come first serve basis, doors open at 5 pm and the event will begin and end right on time.

There are four Democrats (David Allard, Dawn Euer, John Florez and David Hanos) one Republican (Michael Smith), one Independent (Kimberly Ripoli) and one Independent – Green Party Candidate (Gregory Larson) running for the seat that Teresa Paiva Weed filled for 22 years.

6 of the 7 candidates for the forum will be in attendance. Green Party Candidate Gregory Larson will not be in attendance telling What’sUpNewp that “I’ve decided to forgo the debate schedule until after the primary”.

The four Democrats will face off in a primary on Tuesday, July 18th and there will be a special election between the remaining Democrat, Republican, Independent and Independent – Green Party candidate on Tuesday, August 22nd.

The forum will be moderated by Frank Prosnitz, contributor to What’sUpNewp and radio host on AM 1540 WADK; Ian Donnis, political/media reporter for RI Public Radio and Ted Nesi, a political and economic reporter for WPRI 12.

This event is sponsored and supported by Jane Pickens Theater and What’sUpNewp.

For more information, visit https://www.eventbrite.com/e/senate-district-13-candidate-forum-tickets-35188643179.

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Ryan Belmore has been the Owner & Publisher of What's Up Newp since 2012. He also currently works for Mountain News, where he serves as Senior Editor - North America for OnTheSnow. He previously worked for the New England Patriots and American Cancer Society. He currently serves as Vice President of Fort Adams Trust and is a member of Local Independent Online News (LION) Publishers and North American Snowsports Journalists Association (NASJA).