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Sen. Sandra Cano announces candidacy for First Congressional District

Raymond Baccari


Photo via RI General Assembly/James Kegley

State Sen. Sandra Cano (D-Dist. 8) announced she is entering the race for Rhode Island’s soon-to-be-open First Congressional District.

“Our community needs someone who knows what it is like to face the challenges that so many of our neighbors face on a daily basis; someone with the life experience and Democratic values to fight for working families across our state,” Cano said in a statement Monday.

In her announcement, Cano mentions her legislative experience and advocacy for pieces of legislation such as the Act on Climate and Reproductive Privacy Act.

“I have worked to ensure that our children get the quality education they deserve and teachers get recognized as the pillar to their success,” Cano said. “I have stood on the front lines with advocates and legislative champions to protect the right to abortion by passing the Reproductive Privacy Act. I have fought to protect the environment by co-sponsoring the Act on Climate and working to ensure its passage. And I helped lead the successful effort for earned sick leave and fair pay for women and families. Now, I am ready to bring this energy and focus to Washington and fight for our future!”

Before becoming a state legislator, Cano served on Pawtucket’s City Council from 2014 to 2018 and the city’s School Committee from 2012 to 2014.

Several candidates so far have filed with the Federal Elections Commission to run for this seat. The list includes Lt. Gov. Sabina Matos, Allen Waters, the 2022 GOP nominee for this seat who is now a Democrat, Cano and Mickeda Sebastiana Barnes.

Currently, no Republican candidate has filed to run for the seat.

If Cano is elected, she would be the first Latina to represent Rhode Island in Congress, and the first Colombian immigrant to represent Rhode Island in Congress. She would also be the first-ever woman elected to represent Rhode Island’s First Congressional District. The last woman to represent Rhode Island in Congress was then-Rep. Claudine Schneider, who served in the state’s Second Congressional District.

A special election for the seat can't be called by Gov. McKee until Rep. Cicilline formally resigns, which will be June 1. Based on that timeline, this means there are two options for a primary and general election date: An Aug. 8 primary election followed by an Oct. 3 general election or a Sept. 5 primary election followed by a Nov. 7 general election.

Cano said a formal launch for her campaign will take place in the coming weeks.


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