Democratic Congressman James Langevin has done a solid job representing his district. And he has become a leading voice on cyber security, an underappreciated issue of great importance. We part ways with Langevin, who is pro-life, on abortion rights. But he showed during the health care debate that he is not blinded by zealotry.
The Phoenix endorses Cicilline and Langevin for Congress.
ROBERTS, KILMARTIN, RAIMONDO, TAYLOR
Robert Healey, who runs for lieutenant governor now and again in a quixotic bid to eliminate the office, has a better shot of winning this time around than ever. But incumbent Elizabeth Roberts, a solid public servant, deserves re-election. Her expertise on health care could prove particularly useful as the state moves to implement the national reform signed into law by President Obama in March.
Peter Kilmartin, the Democratic nominee for attorney general, will bring the practical experience of a police officer and state legislator to the job. And he has shown an admirable zeal for cracking down on public corruption. Moderate Party candidate Chris Little has made a good showing, too. But the Phoenix endorses Kilmartin.
Gina Raimondo, the Democratic candidate for treasurer, is smart, curious, ambitious — and has the potential to be a star in the party.
Incumbent Secretary of State A. Ralph Mollis has done a fine job. But Republican challenger Catherine Taylor seems more determined to turn the office into an advocate for small businesses and citizens.
The progressive wing of the state legislature, which can finally claim a sympathetic ear in the Speaker's office, has lost some key players of late. But thanks to some impressive wins in the Democratic primaries in September, the left has a shot at replenishing the ranks. Maintaining a strong presence on Smith Hill will also require victories by key incumbents, some of whom face strong challenges. The Phoenix endorses the following candidates in contested races:
Senate District 2: Juan Pichardo
Senate District 11: Charles Levesque
Senate District 28: Josh Miller
Senate District 37: Susan Sosnowski
House District 2: Christopher Blazejewski
House District 3: Edith Ajello
House District 11: Grace Diaz
House District 18: Arthur Handy
House District 22: Frank Ferri
House District 31: Ken Carter
House District 34: Teresa Tanzi
House District 68: Richard Morrison
House District 72: Amy Rice
House District 74: Deb Ruggiero
The Phoenix appreciates the efforts of those who would remove the word "plantations" from the official name of the state — State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations — out of concern that the word conjures painful feelings around slavery.
But the historical record shows that the name made no reference to slavery. And in a region that takes history seriously, we need a more compelling reason for change. The Phoenix urges readers to vote "no" on Question 1.
We urge voters to vote "yes" on Questions 2, 3, and 4, which would allow the state to issue bonds for the construction of science and art facilities at the University of Rhode Island and Rhode Island College, for road and bridge improvements, and for open space. The state's crumbling infrastructure and meager investment in higher education is holding us back.