Today, Rhode Island House Republicans sent the below letter to Governor Gina Raimondo asking for her to set a specific date for transference of power to Lt. Governor McKee.
Governor Raimondo, and her office, has said that she will remain Governor of Rhode Island until the competition of her nomination hearing, which could take place as late as mid-February.
Dear Governor Raimondo,
Congratulations on your pending ascension to serve as the United States Secretary of Commerce. Although we may leave Rhode Island, our hearts remain, and we know you will always keep an eye on our home state. For this we are most thankful. This shared love of home compels us to respectfully request that you establish a near-term date certain to step down as our Governor.
Given the magnitude of the health, economic and social crises Rhode Island grapples with, we must have a defined leadership timetable, so that we may all plan accordingly. Our head of state must not be contingent upon action from a seldom-functional United States Senate, or else the Ocean State will be rudderless between administrations.
The Lieutenant Governor will ultimately be responsible for these crises, including the COVID-19 pandemic, our estimated $500 Million deficit in the next fiscal year, and deep tears in our social fabric. Accordingly, the ascension of the Lieutenant Governor to the Office of Governor should commence as soon as reasonably possible so that the individuals and policies that will ultimately see us through these crises may be implemented forthwith.
Lastly, no human should, or could be expected to, manage these state-level crises, while at the same time preparing to guide our national and international economic policy. Immense are the weights of these individual offices, and combined, they are unmanageable. Our nation and world need you focused on the great undertakings that await you as Secretary of Commerce, not pulled away by your responsibilities as Governor.
Respectfully, the very purpose of an office of Lieutenant Governor is to provide for the seamless transition of power in circumstances such as this. We implore you to allow our system to work as designed by joining other Governors that have stepped down as nominees for federally appointed positions prior to confirmation, including: Terry Branstad (IO); John Hoeven (ND); Jon Huntsman, Jr. (UT); Dirk Kempthorne (ID); and Paul Cellucci (MA).
Thank you for your service to our state, and we wish you much health and happiness in your future endeavors,
House Minority Leader Blake A. Filippi House Minority Whip Michael W. Chippendale Representative Brian C. Newberry Representative David Place Representative George Nardone Representative Robert Quattrocchi Representative Justin Price Representative Sherry Roberts