The Rhode Island Senate District 6 debate

Harold Metts

Three Democratic party primary debates were held in Providence on Thursday evening at the Dr Martin Luther King Elementary School in  Providence Thursday evening. Candidates for Rhode Island House District 4, Rhode Island Senate District 6 and Mayor of Providence took questions from WPRI/Channel 12 reporter Dan McGowan and the audience, in an event that pushed the three-hour mark on a hot, sweaty night.


For convenience, I’ve divided the three debates into three separate posts, available here:

The Rhode Island House District 4 debate

The Rhode Island Senate District 6 debate

A Providence Mayoral debate


The evening’s debates were the second part of a two-part series. In the first half, the “Un-Debate,” candidates listened to the the concerns of constituents. This was presented as a way for candidates to “learn more about the needs of the community they seek to represent.” The event below follows a more traditional format.

The debates were sponsored by the Mount Hope Neighborhood Association, Summit Neighborhood Association and Observatory Neighborhood Association, in collaboration with the Providence Cultural Equity Initiative.

The Rhode Island Senate District 6 seat is held by incumbent Harold Metts since 2005. Metts is being challenge by Jonathan Hernandez and Carlos Cedeno. Cedeno did not attend the debate.

Here’s the opening statement of Jonathan Hernandez:

Here’s the opening statement of Harold Metts:

What do you think are the biggest policy differences between you and your opponent?

Currently the Rhode Island Promise provides for two years of free college at the Community College of Rhode Island. Would you support expanding the program to include Rhode Island College and the University of Rhode Island?

What do you think needs to happen to improve the Providence School District and school districts across the state?

How can RIPTA be improved, especially for the disabled and the elderly?

Do you support the carbon tax?

Is there a gun bill that you see as a top priority for 2019?

A question about Mayor Jorge Elorza‘s plan to monetize/sell/lease Providence Water.

What are the options for dealing with the City of Providence’s pension issues?

Why do bills that would allow the taxing of hospitals, colleges and parking lots fail every year at the General Assembly?

Are lobbyists to powerful at the State House?

How can our Senators and Representatives be more effective for Providence?

McGowan with “four, quick, rapid-fire questions” :

Would you support a line-item veto for the Governor?

Would you support legalizing the recreational use of marijuana for adults over the age of 21?

Would you support driver’s licenses for undocumented immigrants?

Would are you supporting for Governor of Rhode Island?

Here’s the closing statement of Harold Metts:

Here’s the closing statement of Jonathan Hernandez:

Harold Metts
Jonathan Hernandez

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About Steve Ahlquist 597 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

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