Rhode Island State House

Ahead of the Statewide Primary on Tuesday, September 8th, and the General Election on Tuesday, November 3rd, What’s Up Newp is helping readers/voters get to know the candidates through candidate profiles and conversations with the candidates.

Today, we feature candidates for District 72 in the General Assembly. This district covers portions of Portsmouth and Middletown.

On September 8th, voters in District 72 will choose between Democratic candidates Terri-Denise Cortvriend and Chris Semonelli. The winner of the primary will challenge Republican candidate Kenneth Mendonca on November 8th.

In our live video conversation, we chatted with candidates about their campaign and asked them to answer and address a set of questions — about COVID-19, climate change, the economy, race relations, and more.

Terri -Denise Cortvriend | Democrat | (Incumbent)

Candidate Profile

Re-Election Announcement

Our live video conversation with the candidate

YouTube video

Chris Semonelli | Democrat

Chris Semonelli, 2015 © Cat Laine.

Candidate Profile

Candidacy Announcement

Our live video conversation with the candidate

YouTube video

Kenneth Mendonca | Republican

Candidate Profile

Our live video conversation with the candidate is scheduled for 11 am on September 15th.

More from our election coverage

Visit www.vote.sos.ri.gov to view/update your voter record, register to vote, find a polling place/view sample ballot, vote from home with a mail ballot. 

Ryan Belmore

Ryan Belmore is the Owner and Publisher of What'sUpNewp.  He 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.

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

In 2020, he was named Member of the Year by LION and won the Arts & Cultural Alliance of Newport County's Dominque Award.

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

Born and raised in Rhode Island, he spent 39 years living in Rhode Island before recently moving to Alexandria, Virginia, with his wife and two rescue dogs. He still considers Rhode Island home, and visits at least once a month.