Updated: Apr 2, 2021
Anchor Staff Writer
PROVIDENCE, R.I., -- Governor McKee has narrowed the list of finalists for Lieutenant Governor from ten candidates to five. The five finalists are: State Senator Lou DiPalma, Former Central Falls Mayor James Diossa, Democratic Fundraiser Elizabeth Beretta-Perik, State Representative Grace Diaz, and Providence City Council President Sabina Matos. Initially, McKee was expected to select his Lieutenant Governor later this month, however, he is now slated to select his replacement no later than April 11.
“Being one of the five is so exciting, an honor, and amazing. Imagine, a Dominican lady came here 31 years ago and then be in this position, means a lot for the community that I represent, means a lot for women in the state, for women of color, and for low-income families.” Diaz continued, “I have a lot of things to contribute to this office and especially to Governor McKee.”
Each of the five will receive the offer for an interview with McKee. However, DiPalma and Beretta-Perik turned down the governor’s interview offer, stating they want to respect the process.
State House insiders claim Diossa and Matos are the most likely choice. Due to Diossa’s mayoral experience, a number of elected officials have pushed for McKee to pick him, including Former Cranston Mayor Allan Fung. Another factor favoring Diossa is that one of McKee’s signature campaign issues is highlighting the importance of gubernatorial government and Mayors.
Insiders believe Matos is a front-runner because she has won difficult elections in the past and could pose a threat to one of McKee’s potential 2022 primary opponents, Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza. Matos has also been at a number of public events with McKee since he was sworn in as Governor.
Once McKee appoints his Lieutenant Governor, they will then have to be confirmed by the Rhode Island State Senate.