Mattiello will remain House speaker
CRANSTON (AP) – Rhode Island Democrats have endorsed Democratic House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello to remain in his powerful leadership post.
Their caucus was Thursday night in Cranston. Mattiello needed 38 votes and received 44.
Before the meeting, 18 Democrats publicly said they wouldn’t back Mattiello. Three more lawmakers also voted no.
The speaker is officially elected by all 75 House members in January. With enough votes from Democrats, Mattiello is guaranteed the job.
He has support from moderate and conservative Democrats.
No one ran against Mattiello for speaker.
Several left-wing groups asked lawmakers to oust the centrist Mattiello as speaker.
Democratic Rep. Charlene Lima said she’s supporting Mattiello because he has “moved this state in the right direction as far as jobs, the economy and making it easier for businesses.”
Mattiello needed 38 votes. Eighteen Democrats released a statement that said they won’t back him. Most are “progressive” Democrats.
Mattiello was narrowly re-elected in his Cranston district Tuesday.
Republican Rep. Blake Filippi is the new House minority leader.