Recent News

In Memory of Frank Lombardo, III

“Our Senate family is heartbroken with the news that our friend and colleague Frank Lombardo passed away overnight. Frank was one of the kindest and most generous people I have ever had the good fortune to know. He was a passionate and effective representative of his constituents, and he embodied the spirit of collegiality and service to which every member of the Senate aspires. Frank’s dignity and courage in the face of illness was an inspiration to us all. He was full of energy and adventure, living every moment of life to the fullest, from helicopter skiing to cross country motorcycle trips with his father. We are grateful to have shared part of that adventure with him. First and foremost, Frank was devoted to his family. Our prayers are with his wife, Patricia, their children, Frank and Victoria, their grandchildren and their entire family.”

-Senate President Dominick J. Ruggerio

“Frank was not only a well-respected colleague but a dear friend. He never shied from giving tough feedback or challenging your thinking. That same spirit also extended to his adventurous hobbies where he challenged and beat me down every ski mountain he could complete with a lot of commentary about it.”

-Senate Majority Leader Ryan W. Pearson

“We mourn the passing of Senator Frank Lombardo, who was a fierce advocate for the people of Johnston, the community he so loved.  He was an exemplary public servant and a champion of small business. A true gentleman, Senator Lombardo treated everyone with respect and leaves a legacy of dedication and hard work on behalf of the people of Rhode Island. The entire House of Representatives extends our deepest sympathies to the family and friends of Senator Lombardo.” 

-Speaker of the House K. Joseph Shekarchi



Statement from Rhode Island Democratic National Committeewoman Liz Beretta-Perik:
Where Will Joe Powers Go Next to Try to Win an Election?

WARWICK, RI- After losing recent special elections in the historically Republican areas of Cranston’s Ward 6 and Foster, Joe Powers jumped in the Republican Congressional clown car to attempt to elect Jim Jordan, an election denier and MAGA extremist as Speaker of the House.


Powers, a failed State Senate candidate in Cranston, this time went half-way across the country and was unable to influence a Republican member of Congress from Nebraska to vote for Jordan.  Where will Powers go next to push his extreme right-wing positions that are out of touch with Rhode Island and the country?




Statement from Rhode Island Democratic National Committeewoman Liz Beretta-Perik Regarding RI GOP Chairman’s Endorsement of Jim Jordan for Speaker of the House:


WARWICK, RI–  “It is appalling that Rhode Island Republican Party Chairman Joe Powers would endorse Jim Jordan, an election-denier representing the extreme MAGA wing of the Republican Party who is out of touch with average Rhode Islanders. Congressman Jordan stood with the insurrectionists who attacked democracy on January 6th by attempting to obstruct the results of a legitimate Presidential election. Jordan has also failed to address allegations of his role in a highly publicized sexual abuse case.” 


“Joe Powers, a failed candidate who lost his own Senate race in Cranston and then the recent special election races in the traditionally Republican areas of Ward 6 in Cranston and the Town of Foster, has once again demonstrated how his extreme Republican positions do not resonate with Rhode Island voters.  Joe Powers and his pals Jim Jordan and Donald Trump are simply wrong for Rhode Island and the country.”



Jack Bergman–Too Extreme for Rhode Island

Gerry Leonard Stands With Election Denying Congressman and Reversing Rhode Island’s Progress


WARWICK, RI– America is under siege by Republican extremism. Every day, Republicans in Congress push bigotry to fulfill their twisted agenda. Aligning themselves with this extremism, Gerry Leonard’s campaign welcomed to Rhode Island an anti-choice, anti-LGBT+ rights, election denying congressman from Michigan to help kick-off the general election.


Jack Bergman’s bigotry is steeped throughout his voting record. Bergman voted against the Women’s Health Protection Act, against the Respect for Marriage Act, and voted to overturn the 2020 election. He deliberately sided against freedom and democracy to fit his extremist agenda.

“We cannot let Rhode Island go backwards. Rhode Islanders have fought too hard for the expansion of our freedoms to fall victim to Republican extremism,” says RIDP Chairman Joseph McNamara. “Rhode Islanders cannot afford a congressman who stands shoulder-to-shoulder with legislators who are trying to pass a national abortion ban, allow gun violence to run rampant, undermine our democracy, and deny the rights of so many across our country. Quite frankly, our lives depend on it.”


Inviting extremists like Jack Bergman into Rhode Island–especially this early in their campaign–shows what to expect from Gerry Leonard and the Republican Party if he is sent to Congress. Republican extremism and bigotry has no place in The Ocean State.




RI Democratic Executive Committee Approves the State Delegate Selection Plan 2024

Formal Review by National Democratic Rules & Bylaws Committee to be done in May 2023


WARWICK, RI – In compliance with the national Democratic Party guidelines for each of the fifty states and to make the 2024 Democratic National Convention as inclusive and representative as possible, the Rhode Island Democratic Party submitted its Rhode Island Delegate Selection Plan.


The plan for the convention, which is slated to be held in 2024, includes specific steps for identifying its thirty (30) delegates and two (2) alternates, and required review and input by the state party’s Affirmative Action Committee.


The mission of the plan is to ensure that each state makes aggressive outreach to its typically under-represented communities: women, minorities, Hispanic, African American, Native Americans, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, disabled, LGBTQ+, and youth. It enables all voters who wish to take part as Democrats vote on who will represent them at the DNC, and when the Presidential and Vice Presidential nominees are chosen.


The plan sets timelines in conformance with national Democratic standards about when and how voters can get involved in the “state-government-run presidential preference primary.” This includes how to become a presidential candidate (filing dates for the statement of intent for Election Year 2024).


Within the plan are details about the process and timeline for District-Level Delegates. The full Rhode Island Delegate Selection Plan will become available online for review beginning at 2:00 pm and will be posted for the 30-day public comment period on the Rhode Island Democratic website.





RIDP Statement on Rep. Quattrocchi

WARWICK, RI – The Rhode Island Democratic Party strongly condemns the dangerous and hateful homophobic rhetoric Representative Robert Quattrocchi directed at Democratic State Representative Rebecca Kislak and our state’s LGBTQ+ residents.


The hateful behavior displayed by State Representative Robert Quattrocchi in a public hearing is beneath the dignity of an elected official. 


Rhode Island has a proud tradition of tolerance and the RI Democratic Party is proud to stand up for the rights and safety of our LGBTQ+ community.




U.S. Representative David Cicilline Stepping Down from Congress

Cicilline to become President and CEO of Rhode Island Foundation


WARWICK, RI- U.S. Representative David Cicilline of Rhode Island’s 1st Congressional District announced that he is resigning from Congress to step up as President and CEO of the Rhode Island Foundation–the state’s largest philanthropic organization devoted to improving the lives of Rhode Islanders. Cicilline’s resignation is effective May 31st.


Democratic Party Chairman Joe McNamara says, “Our state is lucky to have witnessed the extraordinary leadership of David Cicilline for 28 years. His public service started in 1995 when he was elected to serve as District 4’s State Representative. After four successful terms, Cicilline continued his service to the state as Mayor of Providence. As Providence’s first openly gay mayor, we are thankful for the doors that he has opened. David’s new position at the Rhode Island Foundation is a perfect match for his continued advocacy for Rhode Island’s working families.”


David Cicilline was first elected to represent and serve Rhode Island’s 1st Congressional District in 2010, and he quickly got to work. Some of his accomplishments include securing a historic $2.5 billion investment for Rhode Island’s roads, bridges, and infrastructure; extending benefits to millions of veterans exposed to toxic substances in the line of duty; and crafting the first commonsense, bipartisan gun violence prevention law in 30 years. No matter what, David centered the needs of Rhode Islanders around everything he accomplished in Congress.


He devoted himself to creating a sustainable future for not only Rhode Island, but for the whole nation. Cicilline voiced major support for the CHIPS and Science Act of 2022–a bipartisan bill aimed to make valuable investments in the workforce of the future. The bill strengthens American manufacturing, supply chains, and national security by making investments into innovative practices like nanotechnology, clean energy, quantum computing, and artificial intelligence. 


Cicilline’s tenure in Congress will be remembered for how he put Rhode Islanders first, fearlessly going toe-to-toe with big corporations to make life more affordable for us all. As Chairman of the Antitrust, Commercial, and Administrative Law (ACAL) Subcommittee, Cicilline produced cutting-edge research and investigations into tech firms’ monopolies within our digital economy and markets. His work in antitrust will continue to protect small businesses, consumer privacy, net neutrality, innovation, and consumer choice. 


Cicilline showed an unmatched commitment to the LGBTQ+ community, especially as Chair of the Congressional LGBTQ+ Equality Caucus. The House passed his Equality Act and Global Respect Act this Congress, and two Equality Caucus endorsed bills have been signed into law under his tenure as Chair. He has helped pave the way for bigger and better political representation and leadership for the LGBTQ+ community.


The Rhode Island Democratic Party will be forever grateful for David Cicilline’s service and unfettered dedication to our state. Although he will soon be leaving Congress, we are confident that his new role at the Rhode Island Foundation will be yet another vehicle for him to make long-lasting progress. We thank David for his years of service to our state, and we look forward to seeing his future accomplishments.



Rhode Island is Ready: Governor McKee Looks to the Future in State of the State Address
McKee Unveils Plans for tax relief, education and more
WARWICK, RI- Last night, Governor McKee delivered his 2023 State of the State address. He offered a vision of hope for our future, while laying out his plans to help Rhode Island families in the year ahead.
Most notably, the governor announced an almost $100 million tax relief plan– building on the $200 million relief that his administration delivered in 2022. Tax relief measures will include delivering energy bill rebates and reducing the sales tax:
“We know that Rhode Islanders are still dealing with rising prices at the grocery store and the gas pump. And we know that families have been forced to make difficult financial decisions because their dollar isn’t stretching as far as it used to. That’s why the budget I’ll be submitting to the General Assembly proposes more ways to help Rhode Islanders navigate these inflationary pressures, while making our state a more competitive place to do business,”said Governor McKee.
In his address, Gov. McKee also named education and housing as top priorities. He plans to propose an additional $57 million investment in K-12 education, plus $4 million for out-of-school learning programs. He also intends to continue building on last year’s historic investments towards housing, highlighting how crucial it is that we remain focused on addressing RI’s housing crisis..
“I am greatly looking forward to working with the governor to accomplish some of the critical policy matters he laid out on Tuesday evening. The legislative priorities of many of my colleagues and I are unified with the governor’s agenda, so I feel we are well-positioned to have another collaborative and productive session. I’m very excited to see what we’ll be able to accomplish together as a state in 2023,” said RIDP Chairman McNamara.
Highlighting Transgender Day of Remembrance
RIDP Chairman honors Transgender Day of Remembrance and condemns Saturday’s LGBTQ+ nightclub shooting
WARWICK, RI- Yesterday, we honored Transgender Day of Remembrance, a day when we reflect on all of our transgender family, friends and neighbors who have lost their lives to hateful violence. Tragically, this year’s Transgender Day of Remembrance arrived on the heels of yet more senseless violence against the LGBTQ+ community. 
“On a day when we grieve loved ones who lost their lives simply for being who they are, we were reminded that such acts of violence continue to threaten transgender plus all LGBTQ+ people across the country. Every single American, regardless of sexual identity, deserves to feel safe and welcome in any space,” said Chairman McNamara.
Saturday’s shooting at a nightclub in Colorado Springs ended 5 innocent lives and left 25 injured on the eve of Transgender Day of Remembrance. Our thoughts and deepest sympathies go out to all friends and families of the victims, and to all LGBTQ+ people who continue to have their sense of well-being and security stolen by these injustices.
“I am very grateful that we were able to pass common sense gun legislation in Rhode Island, but these measures are not foolproof. The fight will never be over until we have justice for those whose lives are cut short by hate. We must do more to disarm bigotry and stop rampant gun violence in our communities,” added Chairman McNamara.
Democrats Camille Vella-Wilkinson and Megan Cotter Victorious Following House Race Recounts
Vella-Wilkinson re-elected for the fourth time while Cotter beats Republican incumbent
WARWICK, RI- As of this afternoon, the results of requested recounts in Rhode Island House races have been determined, with two of three Democratic candidates confirming victories.
In Warwick, incumbent District 21 Democrat Camille Vella-Wilkinson has confirmed a victory against Republican opponent Marie Hopkins. In Hopkinton/Exeter/Richmond, incumbent District 39 Republican Justin Price– who attended the Jan. 6th Capitol attack– has lost his seat to Democratic challenger Megan Cotter.
“Rep. Vella-Wilkinson is a fierce advocate in our community, especially when it comes to protecting our environment and advocating for our veterans, I’m not surprised that the voters chose to re-elect her. I am also very excited to welcome Rep-elect Megan Cotter into the legislature, whom I already know has the drive and vision to accomplish great things. Congratulations to the both of them and I look forward to collaborating to continue improving life for Rhode Islanders,” said RIDP Chairman Joseph McNamara.
Speaker Pelosi to Step Down From Her Role: A Statement From RIDP Chairman McNamara 
Longtime House Democratic Caucus leader announced yesterday she plans to retire from the post
WARWICK, RI- RIDP Chairman Joseph McNamara releases the following statement in response to the news that Speaker Nancy Pelosi will not seek re-election to Democratic leadership in the next Congress.
“Thank you to Speaker Nancy Pelosi for your years of service leading House Democrats. Speaker Pelosi not only broke barriers as the first woman to ever hold the position, but helped make our country a better place with her steadfast leadership,” said Chairman McNamara.
Speaker Pelosi has led the Democrats for nearly two decades. Though she is stepping down from that role, she will continue fighting for Americans and serving her San Francisco constituency in Congress.

“Under her leadership, we have seen incredible progress for Americans from all walks of life in critical areas such as healthcare, climate and economy. We are forever grateful and know that yours are big shoes to fill,” added Chairman McNamara.
A Statement From RIDP Chairman McNamara on Donald Trump’s Upcoming Campaign Announcement
Former GOP President Donald Trump is expected to announce a 2024 presidential run later tonight
WARWICK, RI- RIDP Chairman Joseph McNamara releases the following statement in response to former President Donald Trump’s presidential campaign announcement, expected at 9 p.m. tonight.
“Last week, Americans showed Donald Trump that his failed leadership and gross undermining of democracy is no winning strategy. It is clear that a president constantly entrenched in legal trouble, who denies a fair election, incites an insurrection and abuses his power at every turn is not what Americans want for our future. Donald Trump has shown us time and time again that he’s only capable of serving one person: Donald Trump,” said Chairman McNamara.
“Rhode Islanders are not looking to move backwards, we are looking to keep making progress and remain focused on the issues that matter most. Donald Trump is unfit for office. When the time comes, it is up to us to send him that message at the voting booth,” added Chairman McNamara.