With less than three months to the General Election, and less than a month to the Primary Election, What’s Up Newp begins its comprehensive coverage of not only elections in Newport County, but also key statewide legislative races.

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We asked about political, professional and community background, about past accomplishments and issues the candidates hope to address during the next term.

Besides the candidates’ answers to our survey, we welcome press releases and op-ed pieces, as we make every effort to provide voters with information that will help them decide on whom they will support on election day. Candidates and those who support them can email Ryan@whatsupnewp.com.

Here we share an election profile for Michelle McGaw, who is seeking election as State Representative in District 71 (Little Compton, Portsmouth, and Tiverton).

Michelle McGaw

Website: www.mcgaw4ri.com

Government/political history

Current office:


Previous political/government elected offices held, and years:


Previous or current appointed government positions (including boards and
commissions) :

Portsmouth Waste and Recycling Committee, Portsmouth Charter Review Committee

Political Party Affiliation in 2020:


Previous elective political positions sought, year and outcomes:

Candidate For Democratic State Committee for District 71 in 2018

If elected my three top goals are:
I would like to address the way bills are heard and passed through rule changes. I would like to see a more transparent and democratic process where our elected officials, with bills that have widespread support, are not stymied by leadership.

I would like to see a greater focus on climate and environmental issues. There is much that we can do locally to address the environment, but I believe there has not been enough of a focus on this to make progress. Environmental issues impact our health, our livelihoods, our homes and our economy. It’s time for us to give environmental
issues the priority they deserve.

I would like to ensure that our healthcare workers receive the compensation and the equipment they need to appropriately care for our most vulnerable residents. COVID-19 has highlighted just how important these essential workers are.

Employment and Education

My current employment, including title, is:

I am a pharmacist working with Long Term Care facilities across the state to help optimize medication regimens for seniors requiring skilled care._

Schools and degrees:
I am a graduate of the URI College of Pharmacy

Professional organizations, please not leadership positions:
I currently serve on the executive committee for the RI Democratic Women’s Caucus as the Congressional District-1 representative. I am also a member of the Portsmouth Democratic Town Committee.


Non-profit community organization affiliations and any leadership positions:

I previously served on the boards for Portsmouth Little League and Portsmouth Babe Ruth. I have continued to work with Little League as a concessions and volunteer coordinator for the annual District 2 Challenger Jamboree since 2006.

I am a member of the Portsmouth Waste and Recycling Committee, the Portsmouth Democratic Town Committee and recently served on the Portsmouth Charter Review Committee.

In 2017 I co-founded the Portsmouth Trash Collaborative to provide Portsmouth residents that preferred curbside trash service with a group rate with their neighbors.

Through my work on the Democratic Women’s Caucus I have worked with women across the state of RI to help get more women elected and to advocate for issues and legislation that will benefit women and families. As part of my work with the Caucus I organized a local chapter in the Portsmouth, Tiverton and Little Compton area as an opportunity for local women interested in politics to connect with one another and to
learn what resources are available for women interested in running for office.

In 2019 I helped to organize a local legislative forum at the Tiverton library where state legislators representing Portsmouth, Tiverton and Little Compton came together to answer questions from the community to help our community learn where their elected officials stood on issues of importance.

Ryan Belmore is the Owner and 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...