Three Democrats to run for District 49 House seat

Three Democrats to run for District 49 House seat

Morin gets party, mayor and speaker endorsement

WOONSOCKET -- Only three of the four candidates who declared their intent to run for the House seat representing District 49 will be listed on the ballot in the Special Election Primary scheduled for Tuesday, Jan. 21, and of those, just one will have the endorsement of both the mayor and the Democratic party.

Michael Morin, city fire marshal and president of the International Association of Fire Fighter Local 732, has been endorsed by the Rhode Island Democratic Party, winning him the right to the top spot on a ballot full of Democratic candidates. A lottery was held Friday to determine the order of the remaining two contenders: Mark Chenot and Douglas Brown.

According to Estelle D. Corriveau, manager of the city's Board of Canvassers, Dr. Stuart Gitlow's nomination papers were short one of the required 50 signatures.

The seat was relinquished by Mayor Lisa Baldelli-Hunt last month as she assumed her full-time duties in City Hall.

While the January special election is technically just a primary - used to narrow down the field of contenders from the same political party - there are no Republican bids for the seat, leaving the top vote getter unchallenged, save for a potential write-in candidate.

Morin received two more big endorsements this week; from House Speaker Gordon Fox and the mayor herself, who said that legislative help will be needed to remove the Budget Commission that is overseeing the city's finances.

"Michael Morin is the only candidate who is committed to working with me and Speaker Fox in supporting the measures that will be necessary to allow us to have control of our finances again," Baldelli-Hunt said. "We share the same goals of fighting on behalf of the city's taxpayers."

The mayor said that during her time holding the seat, she spearheaded two efforts that she hopes to see carried out by her successor: the renovation of World War II Memorial Park and the implementation of full-day kindergarten.