Politics & Elections

Rep McNamara announces bid for second term as Rhode Island Democratic Party Chair

“Four years ago, I became chair on the eve of the 2014 election at a critical time for our party,” writes Representative Joseph McNamara (Democrat, District 19, Warwick) in a letter announcing his intention to announcing his intention to run for a second term as Rhode Island Democratic Party (RIDP) Chair. “At the time, we were in the middle of

Published on February 19, 2019
By Steve Ahlquist

“Four years ago, I became chair on the eve of the 2014 election at a critical time for our party,” writes Representative Joseph McNamara (Democrat, District 19, Warwick) in a letter announcing his intention to announcing his intention to run for a second term as Rhode Island Democratic Party (RIDP) Chair. “At the time, we were in the middle of a bruising general election battle, having not elected a Democratic governor in our state in a generation. Four years later, we kept our federal delegation solidly blue and, for the first time in 29 years, we re-elected a Democrat as Governor by sending Gina Raimondo back to lead our state. In the General Assembly, Democrats won more seats in both chambers and we now have more Democrats serving on city and town councils in our state that at any time in recent memory.”

McNamara continued, saying there is still more to do.

“…we still have more work to do and I am looking forward to leading our party into the future. We must continue to build strong training programs for candidates to get the tools they need to win. We must continue our partnership with the cities and towns to ensure that the gains that have been made are not lost. We must work with our partners in Rhode Island and around the country to expand voter registration programs and build a voter protection operation that will fight to make sure those voters can cast their votes on Election Day.”

McNamara ended his appeal by summoning the image of a second Trump term. “The stakes in the next election cannot be understated. As chair, I look forward to building a state of the art party operation that turns out every voter across our state to make sure Donald Trump is defeated in 2020.”


McNamara is not without controversy. Last year he unilaterally endorsed MAGA sign wielding Trump supporter Michael Earnheart over incumbent Moira Walsh in House District 3 and the “unfit” and “unqualified” Greg Acciardo over Bridget Valverde in Senate District 35.

In late January on this year McNamara foolishly called for the arrest and prosecution of Melanie DuPont for her testimony before the House Judiciary Committee on the Reproductive Health Care Act. DuPont is the secretary of the Rhode Island Democratic Party Women’s Caucus and she unsuccessfully ran for State Senate in 2018. What DuPont read before the committee was clearly satire, as even a cursory read of her tstimony would show.


The Rhode Island Democratic Party will hold its first State Committee meeting of 2019 on Sunday, March 24, at 6 pm (registration begins at 5 pm) at the Cranston Portuguese Club, 20 Second Avenue, Cranston, where elections for all executive committee offices will be held. Additionally, the Committee will consider adoption of a revised platform.

RIDP Executive Director Tolulope Kevin Olasanoye writes,

“All interested candidates for office on the executive committee (Chair, 1st Vice Chair, 2nd Vice Chair, 3rd Vice Chair, Secretary, Corresponding Secretary, Recording Secretary, Treasurer, Assistant Treasurer) must submit a letter indicating what office they intend to run for via e-mail to info@ridemocrats.org no later than March 1, 2019 at 5 pm Each candidate’s letter must also indicate which State Committee member will raise the motion to nominate, as well as which State Committee member will second the nomination.”

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