Building Trades Council Endorses Lt. Gov. Sabina Matos for Re-election

The Rhode Island Building & Construction Trades Council (RIBCTC) has endorsed Lt. Gov. Sabina Matos for reelection. The endorsement comes just days after the council endorsed Gov. Dan McKee for reelection. McKee and Matos have been campaigning as a team.

Both took office about a year ago after Gov. Gina Raimondo joined the Biden administration. McKee, who was lieutenant governor, ascended to the governorship, and within several weeks chose Matos to succeed him as lieutenant governor, making it clear they would run as a team. Matos was Providence City Council President before her appointment as lieutenant governor. 

In its endorsement of Matos, the council calls her “an American success story,” the first Dominican American lieutenant governor.  Building Trades President Michael F. Sabitoni praised Matos as a champion for working families and for her strong union support.

State Sen. Cynthia Mendes, a Democrat, and Republican Paul Pence are the only other candidates that have been announced for the lieutenant governor’s position.

Matos will face Mendes, who is of Puerto Rican and Cape Verdean descent. Mendes has campaigned as a running mate with former Sec. of State Matt Brown, a Democrat, who is running for governor. 

The Rhode Island Building & Construction Trades Council is a coalition of seventeen (17) Local trade unions with over 10,000 members in and around the State of Rhode Island. 

Democrats Serve PAC endorses Magaziner 

Democrats Serve, a national hybrid political action committee (PAC) that supports Democrats running for office with public service backgrounds, has endorsed Rhode Island General Treasurer Seth Magaziner for Congress in Rhode Island’s second district.

Brett Broesder, the PAC’s executive director, said Magaziner is an excellent example of a Democrat running for office with frontline public service experience.

“Rhode Islanders need a representative who will fight for them,” Broesder said. “That’s why we’re supporting Seth Magaziner’s congressional run. From helping families keep up with the rising cost of living by making higher education more affordable, to ensuring every child has access to free pre-k, Seth will always do what’s right for Rhode Island families.”

Diossa wins state senators’ endorsement 

General Treasurer candidate and former Central Falls Mayor James Diossa continue to announced endorsements from four members of the Rhode Island State Senate — Senator Ana B. Quezada of Providence, the Deputy Senate Majority Whip; Senator Meghan Kallman,  vice-chair of the Committee on Housing and Municipal Government Senator Sandra Cano of Pawtucket, Chairwoman of Senate Committee on Education; and Senator Alana M. DiMario Co-Chair, Permanent Joint Legislative Commission on Child Care.

“James was a great leader for his community and will be a great leader for our state,” said Cano said. “He turned around Central Falls after its bankruptcy, and he understands deeply the challenges our cities and towns are facing.” 

Gorbea calls for state gas tax holiday

Democratic gubernatorial candidate and Secretary of State Nellie Gorbea last week called for a statewide gas tax holiday in light of rising gas prices.

Gorbea urged Gov. McKee to “pause the gas tax to provide immediate relief to the many Rhode Islanders facing higher prices at the pump right now.” The state’s gas tax is 35 cents a gallon and generated nearly $140 million in revenue to the state in the last fiscal year.

Gorbea said the gas tax holiday should be maintained until the price of gasoline drops to the level prior to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

She also called for a more robust public transit strategy and a more robust strategy to provide alternatives in renewable energy.

Asked how long Gorbea thinks the tax should be waived, spokesperson Biana Suchite said, “The gas price increase is tied to the Russian invasion of Ukraine. She would pause it until prices come down to the level they were prior to the horrible attacks on Ukraine.”

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.