“I learned I was endorsed via the ProJo,” said Holly Taylor Coolman, who was endorsed by the Rhode Island Democratic Party over incumbent Marcia Ranglin-Vassell for House District 5 in Providence.
Your name is on those [endorsement] papers, I replied.
“Right. I found that out on your blog. My name was written in as a person endorsed. It’s not a signature,” replied Taylor Coolman. “As I have already said, the whole narrative about my connections to DeSimone is a fabrication.”
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According to papers filed with the Rhode Island Secretary of State‘s office, the House District 5 District Committee met on June 28 to endorse Taylor Coolman. One of the members of that committee, Anthony DeSimone Jr, is the brother of John DeSimone, the former House District 5 Representative and House Majority Leader beaten in the last election by Ranglin-Vassell.
Taylor Coolman had nothing to do with the endorsement. “My own theory,” said Taylor Coolman, is that the endorsement is “anti-Marcia much more than pro-Holly.”
Taylor Coolman agreed that the endorsement process is arcane and unfair. “[I]f I were elected, I would address the issue,” she said.
I asked Taylor Coolman if she would consider turning down the endorsement, given the way she got it.
“I will consider that suggestion. My concern is that, now, people who are huge supporters and have given time, energy, etc, are very happy about this,” said Taylor Coolman. “I will consider.”
Here’s Taylor Coolman’s full statement:
Over the last week or so, I have heard a number of rumors regarding my candidacy, and especially a number of claims that, in one way or another, I am an “insider,” a “hand-picked” candidate, someone perhaps running as a proxy for John DeSimone, who previously held the seat.
These rumors are untrue.
I have met John DeSimone exactly once in my life, and had a brief conversation with him.
At the time of that conversation, I had already decided to run for this office, so my decision to run happened completely independently of Mr DeSimone or anyone representing him.
In the brief conversation I had with Mr DeSimone, we did not discuss local endorsements of the Democratic Party, directly or indirectly. We did not discuss a possible endorsement of my campaign by the local committee. I learned that I had been endorsed by the local committee via the Providence Journal, and it was only after that that I learned of the endorsement that I learned who the members of the local nominating committee are.
(On a related note, I have never met Nicholas Mattiello or had any communication with him or anyone representing him.)
I am a first-time candidate, supported by friends and neighbors who believe in my candidacy.
I don’t know what motivation there is for any other account.
Let’s run this race based on the facts.
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