Democratic Party endorses Representative Marcia Ranglin-Vassell’s anti-choice opponent

Marcia Ranglin-Vassell

Among the progressive Democrat incumbent women who did not get an endorsement from the Rhode Island Democratic Party is Representative Marcia Ranglin-Vassell (Democrat, District 5, Providence). Ranglin-Vassell is a Jamaican immigrant, a woman of color and a teacher. She beat the incumbent, House Majority Leader John Desimone, in a close election in 2016. In the House she has fought for a $15 minimum wage and for control. Ranglin-Vassell failed to receive the endorsement because her District Committee seems to be made up of John Desimone holdovers.

In fact, one of the members of her District Committee is Anthony Desimone Jr, the former representative’s brother. The district committee nominated Providence College theology professor Holly Taylor Coolman, a self-identified “traditional Democrat.” When I attended Coolman’s campaign announcement in May, I was introduced to the candidate by Barth Bracy, executive director of Rhode Island Right to Life.

In a ProJo piece, 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.

When State Representative Aaron Regunberg (Democrat, District 4, Providence) described Coolman as “running on a specifically anti-choice platform” Coolman objected, telling Katherine Gregg and Patrick Anderson at the Providence Journal that Regunberg’s description of her campaign “was an ‘intentionally misleading’ characterization of her ‘nuanced pro-life’ stance,” yet 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.’”

Marcia Ranglin-Vassell is solidly pro-choice.

“Clearly the endorsement process is totally broken,” said Ranglin-Vassell in a statement. “It is my hope that appropriate corrective actions are taken to bring credibility and high integrity to the process. However, in my race, I am the only candidate at this crucial moment who stands solidly with women and all Rhode Islanders to protect Roe v Wade. It is unfortunate that the party disregarded the will of the people, as well as its own precedent, in not endorsing the incumbent.”


See also:

Shanna Wells – RI Democratic Party should stop stifling the voices of women and people of color!

Rhode Island Democratic Party Chair endorses Trump supporter over incumbent Moira Walsh

Bridget Valverde – My opponent is “unfit to represent our district, and completely unworthy of our party’s endorsement”


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About Steve Ahlquist 669 Articles
Steve Ahlquist is a frontline reporter in Rhode Island. He has covered human rights, social justice, progressive politics and environmental news for half a decade. Uprise RI is his new project, and he's doing all he can to make it essential reading. atomicsteve@gmail.com

3 Comments

  1. After reading the series of articles about the Democratic Party endorising a series ofr acist sexist clowns am prouder than ever that I am a member of the Green Party. The Democratic Party, where good ideas go to die.

    • But please change your affiliation on the day of the primary- voting as a Democrat in the RI primary is just as important, if not more so, than voting Green in the General. You can change it back to Green right after.

  2. This remains absolutely appalling. I’m having trouble finding much information about the endorsement process–are district committee members elected officials, and are their names publicly available?

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