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“Traditional” Democrat Holly Taylor Coolman challenging Marcia Ranglin-Vassell in House District 5



Providence College theology professor Holly Taylor Coolman is launching a primary challenge against first time incumbent candidate Representative Marcia Ranglin-Vassell (Democrat, District 5, Providence). Taylor Coolman held her first event at Bradley Cafe at 571 Admiral Street in Providence, where about a dozen supporters, including Barth Bracy, executive director of Rhode Island Right to Life, were in attendance. Bracy introduced me to the candidate.

In a ProJo piece, Taylor Coolman differentiated herself from her opponent by saying she does not support the Reproductive Health Care Act. She signed a letter in support of the Eighth Amendment to the Irish Constitution, which outlawed abortion in that country. That amendment was recently overturned by a two-to-one vote in that country. Taylor Coolman is quoted here as saying that, “prolife” must mean much more than “anti-abortion”—but “it is also true that ‘pro-life’ cannot mean less than ‘anti-abortion.'”

Taylor Coolman considers herself a “traditional” Democrat. She was gracious and open when I explained that my interest in her was spurred in part by Johnston Mayor Joe Polisena‘s defense of what he called “core [Democratic] party values” that are “traditional, conservative, and Catholic.”

“Core Democratic Values” is what Taylor Coolman is all about: It says so on her campaign poster.

Taylor Coolman intends to run a clean race. “At a moment where we really need more women running, in this race, where my opponent is a woman, you will not see me tearing down someone who is holding that office, in a personal way,” said Taylor Coolman.

You can hear all of Taylor Coolman’s remarks in the video:

Taylor Coolman’s husband, Boyd, provided some biographical background for the candidate during his introduction.

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About the Author

Steve Ahlquist is Uprise RI's co-founder and lead reporter. He has covered human rights, social justice, progressive politics and environmental news for nearly a decade.