Two local leaders say they didn’t endorse Lt. Gov. Matos despite being listed as so
Updated: Apr 30
Editor's note: Updated at 5:42 p.m. to include a comment sent to The Anchor by Matos's campaign regarding this news.
Two of the 31 people who Lt. Gov. Sabina Matos said Friday endorsed her run for Congress are saying they have not endorsed the lieutenant governor.
Matos released a list of 31 endorsements Friday morning, which ranged from State Rep. Grace Diaz (D-Dist. 11) to former elected officials, including Lt. Gov. Elizabeth Roberts. However, two on the endorsement list, former State Rep. Jean Philippe Barros and Warren Town Council President John Hanley, told The Anchor Friday afternoon they haven’t endorsed anyone for CD1 yet.
“I had spoken to the lieutenant governor and I had told her that Sandra [Cano], James [Diossa] and I are friends and at this time I couldn’t really support anybody, but I would be more than happy to financially support,” Barros told The Anchor.
Barros also told The Anchor that he was not aware of being on this list until today.
“Nobody actually told me whether I was on the list, I just found out today that I was on the list. There was no list that I could see. Nobody’s ever talked to me about being on the list,” Barros said.
Barros said has not endorsed anyone yet.
Hanley also confirmed to The Anchor he has not endorsed Matos for Congress.
“Officially no,” Hanley said. “I had a conversation with her on the phone and I wished her good luck, but I did not make an endorsement of her, no I did not. I told her I said ‘I’m an independent, I’m not a Democrat – I’m staying out of this’ so I did not officially endorse her, but I did wish her good luck.”
Hanley also did not know about being on the list until today.
“I didn’t know that it was basically an official thing until somebody showed me that it was released and I said ‘wow’ I thought it was just a courtesy call she was making, so I wished her luck,” Hanley said.
Other names have also said that despite being listed, haven't endorsed Matos. This list includes Newport City Council Vice Chair Lynn Underwood Ceglie, Newport City Councilman Charles Holder, former State Rep. Anastasia Williams and Tiverton Town Councilman Joe Perry.
The Anchor emailed Matos’s campaign requesting a comment.
"The Lieutenant Governor was honored to receive the support of dozens of endorsers today, each of whom pledged their support in recent weeks when asked," Evan England, a spokesperson for Matos's campaign told The Anchor. "There appears to be a misunderstanding with regard to a few people on the list, and we have let them know we are happy to remove them."
England also said, "People that have asked us not to be on the endorsement list will not be in future communications about an endorsement" when asked if the list will be updated, adding, "We will be updating our website to reflect the requests that we've gotten from individuals."
Raymond Baccari can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.