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Secretary of State announces schedule for House District 68 special election



Rhode Island Secretary of State Nellie Gorbea announced today that there will be a special election in Representative District 68 to fill the seat of Representative Kenneth Marshall (Democrat) on Tuesday, March 5, 2019. Representative District 68 includes parts of Bristol and Warren.

Laufton Ascencao, a Democrat recently elected to serve as a Rhode Island State Representative for District 68 in Bristol, announced that he will be turning down the office, leaving the seat vacant pending a special election. Ascencao falsified an invoice and a check for some mailers he promised to send out on behalf of Warren Democrats running for Town Council. After being confronted, Ascencao came clean and stepped aside under growing calls for his resignation.

 “This morning we received Mr Ascencao’s resignation letter,” said Secretary Gorbea. “I have been working with the [Rhode Island] Board of Elections and the Bristol and Warren Boards of Canvassers to promptly hold a special election for District 68 as provided under Rhode Island state law. This is a costly and disappointing situation but it is critical that the citizens of District 68 have representation in their government that has integrity and holds the community’s interests at heart.”

State law authorizes the Secretary of State to order a special election to fill a vacancy. The declaration period for candidates interested in running for the Representative District 68 seat will take place on December 27 and 28, 2018. A special Primary election will take place on February 5, 2019 if more than one candidate from either party qualifies for the ballot.

Special Election Calendar:

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December 27-28, 2018: Deadline for candidates to file Declarations of Candidacy with the Bristol and Warren Board of Canvassers

December 31, 2018: Deadline for endorsements to be filed by party committees

January 6, 2019: Last day to register to vote for the primary

January 8, 2019: Deadline for candidates to submit nomination papers to the Bristol and Warren Boards of Canvassers

January 15, 2019: Last day to submit a mail ballot application for the primary

January 16- February 4, 2019: Emergency ballot period for the primary

February 5, 2019: PRIMARY

February 3, 2019: Last day to register to vote for the election

February 12, 2019: Last day to submit a mail ballot application for the election

February 13 – March 4, 2019: Emergency ballot period for the election

March 5, 2019: ELECTION

[From a press release]

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