Mat­tiello will re­main House speaker

Woonsocket Call - - FRONT PAGE -

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.

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