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Sandra Cano wins special election for State Senate District 8

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Sandra Cano, an at-large Pawtucket City Councilmember, won Tuesday’s special election for state Senate District 8. According to a press release from the Rhode Island Democratic Party, “in unofficial result” Cano “defeated Republican Nathan Luciano 629 votes to 234 votes.” The election results still need to be officially certified after all write-in votes are counted.

“I am overwhelmed by the support Pawtucket voters have shown me, during this special election and in tonight’s win,” said Cano in a statement. “It is a great honor to be elected to serve as their state senator, and to take on the challenges that face our city and state at this time. Senate Democrats and the leadership have been so supportive of my bid for office: I promise to bring the same commitment to community that I have given these many years as a Pawtucket elected leader.”

The special election was called after Senator James Doyle II stepped down due to health problems.

Cano, a community banker at Navigant Credit Union, holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Bryant University and a master’s degree in public administration from the University of Rhode Island. She also completed Harvard University’s Executive Leadership Program.

As an At-Large member of the Pawtucket City Council, Cano pushed to establish the city’s Office of Economic Development and supported investments to stimulate economic growth through small business development and promotion, and building upon the city’s vibrant arts and culture scene. She was an outspoken proponent of investments in public education and projects to improve the quality of life for Pawtucket’s residents.


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Rhode Island State Senate President Dominick Ruggerio (Democrat, District 4, Providence) said, “Sandra’s victory is a result of her hard work on behalf of the people of Pawtucket and her vision for our great state. I am very pleased to welcome her to the Senate, where we will work together to make Pawtucket and our state an even better place to live and work.”

Cano will be sworn in later this month following certification of the vote and absentee ballots.


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Steve Ahlquist is a frontline reporter in Rhode Island. He has covered human rights, social justice, progressive politics and environmental news for nearly a decade. atomicsteve@gmail.com