Progressives already lost Providence legislator Maria Cimini this election season, but we’ve also picked up Lauren Carson down in Newport. Here are some of the races where the liberal left could pick up – or lose – legislative seats.
In Portsmouth/Middletown, Rep. Linda Finn is in a dog fight with young Republican Dan Reilly, whom she beat two years ago to first win the seat. Finn says Reilly has been claiming credit for legislation he didn’t author, and telling other tall tales on the trail.
Also on Aquidneck Island, Senate President Teresa Paiva Weed, who has the support of the Sierra Club, also has a challenge from Republican Mike Smith.
In Narragansett/Wakefield Rep. Teresa Tanzi‘s opponent Steve Tetzner, an NRA-supporting mortgage broker, spent more than $100,000 on his campaign touting fiscal conservancy.
On the East Side of Providence, Aaron Regunberg already passed one big test by beat Heather Tow Yick in the primary, but he still needs to fend off Ethan Gyles, who is running as an independent. Whomever wins will be replacing former House Speaker Gordon Fox.
In Coventry, Margaux Morrisseau is hoping to win the senate seat currently held by Nick Kettle, who is best known for fake Facebook pages and disparaging homeless people. Morisseau runs the New Leaders Council, a training program for progressive activists, and for leading the fight for payday loan reform. And on the House side in Coventry Nick Denice hopes to unseat Republican Patricia Morgan.
Nearby in West Warwick, Senator Adam Satchel, a teacher and a Democrat, is defending his seat against independent Michael Pinga.
In North Kingstown, self-described conservative Democrat Julie Casimiro, a charter school supporter, is challenging tea party favorite Doreen Costa, who has the backing of the local fire fighters union in the race. The GOP could also pick up a seat if Republican Sharon Gamba beats conservative Democrat Bob Craven for a House seat.
Central Falls City Councilor Shelby Maldonado hopes to beat independent Albert Romanowicz and Dan Bidondi is running again Senator Elizabeth Crowley.
In Richmond, Rep. Larry Valencia is running against Republican Justin Price. In Cranston Rep. Art Handy is running against Republican Don Gendron.
One would think Rep. Mike Marcello would have a race on his hands, after making an unsuccessful run at being speaker of the House. He’s running against Lillian Jean Delmonico and Robert Quattrocchi.
Many urban progressives have already effectively won their races because they are unopposed, including Edith Ajello, Chris Blazejewski, Juan Pichardo, Gayle Goldin, Josh Miller of Cranston and Dave Bennett of Warwick.
What other races should I be watching?