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Voters deliver a petition to demand that Governor Raimondo debate her primary opponents



“We are here to present a petition that has over 300 signatures to try to persuade Governor Raimondo to [participate in] three debates before the September 12 primary,” said Maggie Kain of Our Revolution Rhode Island. “We’re here to show unity and solidarity on the this issue… We’ve reached out to her and her campaign in every way possible, and have only gotten refusals.”

So far, Governor Gina Raimondo has refused to commit to any public debates.

See: Governor Raimondo laughs when asked if she’ll debate primary challenger Matt Brown

The petition is supported by Our Revolution Rhode Island, Indivisible Rhode Island, Climate Action Rhode Island (CARI), Rhode Island Progressive Democrats, Providence Youth Student Movement (PrYSM), and the Rhode Island Womxn’s Action Initiative (RI-WAI), and others, said Kain.

“When corporate money fuels campaigns, it really shuts out the regular folks of Rhode Island,” said Kain. “We want to know about the political choices and have transparent and open debates, perhaps one of the last pillars of open democracy. However, with Governor Raimondo refusing to debate her opponents before the primary election, we’ve lost access to that democracy. And we demand that we have a democracy unfettered by corporate influence.”

“In the last election, I voted for Raimondo based on a panel of every single candidate that was on a stage at Rhode Island College. And he platform on climate change and what she was going to do, really convinced me to vote,” said Kendra Anderson, of Climate Action Rhode Island. “Now I want to here what she’s going to do in the next four years because I’m not quite sure.”

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“A debate is part of the democratic process. It’s where you get to talk yourself up,” said Joshua Delarosa. “It’s where the public gets to hear what you have to say- Your opinions, your ideas. That’s the most important part- The public hearing what you’re going to do and you know, Raimondo just doesn’t want that.

“What [the public] wants to see is just the two candidates as a comparison,” said Capri Catanzaro, from the Rhode Island Progressive Democrats. “And the best way to do that is a debate… The best part of a debate is that you can hear both sides.”

Here’s Maggie Kain delivering the petition to the Governor’s communications office.

I asked the chicken if he was the same one that posed with Republican gubernatorial candidate Pat Morgan the other day. “No,” said the chicken, “But there are big baskets of eggs hatching all over the state.”

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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.