The list of candidates running to replace outgoing Rep. David Cicilline continues to grow. A total of 14 candidates have filed with the Federal Election Commission to run for this seat. One of the candidates who is running for the First Congressional District is Nick Autiello, a former senior aide for Gov. Raimondo’s Commerce department.
In a recent episode of Ray-ality TV, Autiello identified a few major issues he wants to address in Congress when asked why he’s running.
“To tackle the cost of living crisis that families are under right now,” Autiello said. “To tackle climate change and build a better future for our kids. To save our democracy and rebuild our democracy to be able to protect our people over the next century – and for the United States to be able to compete on the world stage in another century. And to fight back against the attacks that are coming from the far right on abortion care, on guns, on the LGBTQ community, on women, on people of color and to finally say enough is enough.”
As the Democratic primary continues to see more candidates file to run, it will make a candidate have to focus on differentiating themselves from the other dozen-plus opponents.
Autiello said “I think it’s my story” when asked what differentiates him from his opponents in the primary.
“When I was growing up, my dad owned a jewelry store that right before the recession started to lose its ability to support our family,” Autiello said. “And we were forced to uproot our lives and we ended up moving to Florida when I was in high school at LaSalle Academy, and it was just so disruptive and I saw firsthand how fragile our economy actually is. Even when you have a great middle class family and everything is going, you can put food on the table, you can pay all the bills at the end of the month – but how quickly it can just all be ripped away.”
Addressing gun violence will be a top policy goal most of the Democrats seeking this seat will prioritize. Autiello favors an assault weapons ban, saying it is “high on the priority list.”
Taking on climate change is another key policy goal Autiello will focus on throughout this campaign.
He said, “You walk around a huge part of the First Congressional District, 20, 30 years, it’s going to be under water. And we’re not just talking like rich people’s houses on the coast, we’re talking a lot of working-class families whose homes are very close to the water in Rhode Island.”
One policy Democrats in Congress are putting forth is the Green New Deal, which was recently reintroduced by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA). Autiello supports this resolution, saying, “I think it’s a great starting point.”
The full interview can be seen in its entirety on the Ray-ality TV YouTube channel using this link.