Rhode Island State House

This year will be among Rhode Island’s most active and fiery elections, from local races to crowded gubernatorial and U.S. House of Representative campaigns.  This is our regular column that wraps up up some of the top political stories of the moment.

Rhode Island GOP Hires an Executive Director

The Rhode Island Republican Party has appointed a former Illinois businessperson and political operative Jesus Solorio Jr. as its first executive director in several years. 

Jesus Solorio Jr., who was president of the political consulting firm Solorio Strategies in Chicago, served in various Chicago and Illinois Republican organizations in various capacities has pledged to help “increase Republican influence in the Ocean State.”

He takes the position at a time when the Rhode Island GOP has been slow in announcing candidates in the 2022 election, and is still searching for a gubernatorial candidate. Democrats, meanwhile, have several competitive races, including governor and the second Congressional district.

“We are thrilled to have Jesus come aboard. He came very highly recommended by the Republican National Committee for his community outreach skills. We are very excited to see how he can help us end eight decades of Democratic rule in Rhode Island,” said Sue Cienki, chairwoman of the Rhode Island Republican Party.

According to Solorio’s Linked In site, he served as campaign finance director for Strive Strategies for eight months (August 2019-March 2020), was president of his own firm from March 2020 to February 2022, and previously served as Senior Outreach Director for the Illinois Republican Party, and Director of Communications for the Illinois Federation of Republican Women.

According to his Linked In site he earned associate degrees from MacComac College in business administration and management, and entrepreneurship.

RI AFL-CIO endorses Magaziner and Cicilline

The Rhode Island AFL-CIO has endorsed Congressman David Cicilline for re-election to Congressional District One (1) and Rhode Island General Treasurer Seth Magaziner for election to Congressional District Two (2).

“Treasurer Magaziner is the type of leader Rhode Island needs in Congress,” said George Nee, President of the Rhode Island AFL-CIO. “Seth’s efforts as chair of the state’s school building task force helped launch a transformation of Rhode Island’s school infrastructure, ensuring that all students have safe, warm, and dry places to learn all while creating 28,000 construction related jobs.”  

The Rhode Island AFL-CIO has also supported the proposal by Magaziner “to continue the transformation of Rhode Island’s school infrastructure through his new proposed $300 million bond question which will help to decarbonize our schools and meet the goals of the Act on Climate.”

“Congressman Cicilline continues to be a strong voice for union members in Congress, advocating for crucial pieces of legislation like the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act, the Raise the Wage Act, and the Rehabilitation for Multiemployer Pensions Act,” said Patrick Crowley, Secretary-Treasurer of the Rhode Island AFL-CIO. “Working people across the state are proud to have David as our champion in Congress.”  The Rhode Island AFL-CIO represents 80,000 working women and men across the ocean state in all sectors of the workforce.

Magaziner Endorsed by Northeast Regional Council of Sheetmetal Workers, Local 17

General Treasurer and congressional candidate Seth Magaziner has been endorsed by the Northeast Regional Council of Sheetmetal Workers, Local 17.

The Sheetmetal Workers Union praised Magaziner for creating “thousands of jobs in Rhode Island,” not his leadership “on school construction projects across the state.”

  “Working families need a fighter in Washington who can deliver results and that’s why we are supporting Seth,” said Patrick Donlan, Council Representative for the Northeast Regional Council of Sheetmetal Workers, Local 17.

The Sheetmetal Workers said Magaziner created more than 30,000 jobs in Rhode Island through the school buildings and new clean energy programs.

The union endorsement follows other union endorsements from the Rhode Island AFL-CIO, Ironworkers Local 37, Unite Here Local 26, Carpenters 330, Plumbers and Pipefitters Local 51, and the International United Painters and Allied Trades. 

Frank Prosnitz

Frank Prosnitz brings to WhatsUpNewp several years in journalism, including 10 as editor of the Providence (RI) Business News and 14 years as a reporter and bureau manager at the Providence (RI) Journal. Prosnitz began his journalism career as a sportswriter at the Asbury Park (NJ) Press, moving to The News Tribune (Woodbridge, NJ), before joining the Providence Journal. Prosnitz hosts the Morning Show on WLBQ radio (Westerly), 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. Monday through Friday, and It’s Your Business, also on WBLQ, Monday and Tuesday, 9 a.m. to 10 a.m.

Prosnitz has twice won Best in Business Awards from the national Society of American Business Editors and Writers (SABEW), twice was named Media Advocate of the Year by the Small Business Administration, won an investigative reporter’s award from the New England Press Association, and newswriting award from the Rhode Island Press Association.