Liana Cassar, the co-chair of the Barrington Democratic Town Committee, is running for House District 66, which represents most of Barrington and a portion of southern East Providence. The seat is currently held by Joy Hearn, who announced earlier this year she isn’t running for reelection.
“I am running for State Representative of District 66 because I believe that Barrington and East Providence will benefit from electing a woman dedicated to protecting health care, education and the environment – areas that are a vital to the success of our communities,” she said in a press release. “I will bring a strong background in political activism and extensive experience in public health to the State House.
Cassar describes herself to RI Future as “a consistently progressive Democrat.” On her Twitter profile, she refers to herself as “A radical feminist, foodie, environmentalist.” She voted for Hillary Clinton, served on the board of the Women’s Fund of Rhode Island for ten year,s and attended both Women’s Marches – this year in Providence and last year in Washington D.C. She worked for the Peace Corp in Costa Rica and in the public health in Rhode Island and Massachusetts, focusing on veteran’s, low income communities, and reproductive health.
“I have always been a social activist regarding reproductive health and environmental justice,” she told RI Future, “but became more politically active locally in the past few years due to Barrington’s challenges with implementing a change of school start times and the Barrington Middle School building project.”
She declined to answer questions about specific policies or legislation she would support if elected.
“These are all great questions and I look forward to answering them over the course of the campaign,” she said in response to questions ranging from her thoughts on the PawSox, a carbon tax, charter schools, and the governor’s proposed budget. “I am currently focused on getting my campaign operations in place, planning out my outreach and getting familiar with the issues that are priorities for Barrington and East Providence voters.”
Cassar has lived in Barrington for 19 years. She is married to Larson Gunness, they have two teenage children. “I can tell you that I am on the East Bay bike path almost daily, walking my 2 dogs, biking or running,” she said.