With the primary election less than three weeks away, candidates, mostly Democrats, are sprinting to the finish line. Competitive Democratic primaries are being hotly contested for governor, second Congressional district, lieutenant governor, and general treasurer.

And lots of money is being spent on television ads, trying to convince you – the voters – of the miraculous achievements of some and the despicable tactics and track records of others. Before believing any of it, best to do some fact-checking and see whether the claims, either way, even approach the reality.

At WhatsUpNewp we’ll try to do some of the fact-checking for you, not in this particular election wrap up, but in the coming days. For now, here’s what the candidates are saying.

Diossa accuses Pryor of tying to buy the election with out-of-state money

Former Central Falls Mayor James Diossa has accused his Democratic opponent for General Treasurer of “using an out-of-state PAC to attack James Diossa and the hard work that so many Rhode Islanders put into making Central Falls a comeback story.”

Diossa said his opponent, former RI Commerce Secretary Stefan Pryor, has reported donations from 256 individuals, with 180 having out-of-state addresses.

 “Rhode Island voters deserve to know who is behind Mr. Pryor’s candidacy,” said Diossa Campaign Manager Rob Craven in a press release. “It’s out-of-state donors backing an out-of-state candidate. And now, a Connecticut-based PAC (Political Action Committee) is sponsoring a pro-Pryor attack ad that is riddled with false and misleading claims about James’ ethics and accomplishments in Central Falls.”

RI AFL-CIO endorses House Speaker Shekarchi for re-election in District 23

 The Executive Board of the Rhode Island AFL-CIO has endorsed House Speaker Joseph Shekarchi for re-election to his District 23 seat, in the primary election. Shekarchi is opposed by Jacqueline M. Andeson, a nurse, who is a member of the Progressive Cooperative, an organization backing several progressive candidates.

As Speaker of the House, Shekarchi is considered among the most powerful, officials in state government He has parlayed that into a $1.8 million campaign fund account, according to the latest filing with the state Board of Elections. 

“As Speaker of the House, Representative Shekarchi has made a positive impact for the working people of Rhode Island. He has provided targeted tax relief for Rhode Islanders by eliminating the car tax, delivering $250 tax credits to working families with children, and eliminating the state income tax on military pensions. He has also passed a bill that increases the minimum wage to $15 per hour and has strongly supported efforts to protect current law that provides for mandatory time and a half pay for all workers who work on Sunday and holidays. We’re supporting Speaker Shekarchi because he has a record of standing with our members,” said George Nee, president of the state AFL-CIO.

McKee endorsed by United Auto Workers

 The United Auto Workers (UAW region 9A, which represents some 1,000 employees, has endorsed Governor Dan McKee for a full term, according to the governor’s campaign.                     

“Governor McKee has made clear that he has the backs of working people and their families,” said Beverley Brakeman, UAW Region 9A Director. “He supports the issues that are important to our members, including better and more fair working conditions, a strong economy, and tax relief for Rhode Islanders. In his first 18 months in office, he has proven that he has the leadership skills to turn Rhode Island’s economy around, and we look forward to supporting him at the polls on September 13.”

Newport Council candidate wants to accelerate role of regionalization advisory committee

Xaykham Khamsyvoravong, a candidate for Newport City Council At-Large, has called on Newport and Middletown to accelerate convening the Academic Advisory Committee before the November regionalization vote to give voters an opportunity to see how the communities plan on using regionalization to enhance classroom performance.

“I’s time to refocus the conversation on the real bottom line: how and if our two communities can work to improve student outcomes,” Khamsyvoravong said.

“Understanding this requires giving voters a look at how the two communities will work together on improving academics.” He said the Academic Advisory Committee is not currently planning to meet before the regionalization vote.

He said the committee is a “largely advisory group,” which will provide the new regionalized school district with a “roadmap” of how the communities can move forward academically.

Diossa endorsed by State Sen. Dawn Euer

State Sen. Dawn Euer, D-Dist. 13, Jamestown and Newport, has endorsed former Central Falls Mayor James Diossa for General Treasurer.

Euer said “all of our shared values as Democrats are premised on making government work for everyone Having a sound fiscal footing for the state underlies everything we want to accomplish. James’ experience as one of the few mayors in the country to lead a city out of bankruptcy shows, in concrete way, that he has the knowledge and skill to be a strong leader in the General Treasurer’s office.”

More on Election 2022

Kalus cancels WUN videocast

According to campaign staffer Matt Hanrahan, there was a “change to Ashley’s schedule” that necessitate canceling the interview.


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Gerry Goldstein: A royal burial on our own Aquidneck Island

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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.