Fasteson already campaigning in Sen. Archambault challenge

Fasteson already campaigning in Sen. Archambault challenge

SMITHFIELD - A 37-year-old political newcomer is mounting a Democratic primary bid for the District 22 state Senate seat held by Stephen R. Archambault.

The challenger is David Fasteson, a 10-year town resident who has been canvassing the district seeking votes and campaign donations.

Fasteson says his priorities are job creation, education including efforts toward smaller class sizes, eliminating tax cuts for the wealthy, banning assault weapons, and support for the elderly, the environment, local farming, and crime prevention.

He has a bachelor's degree in biology and administrative science from Colby College in Maine and a master's in science education from Brown University.

A former science teacher in Greenwich, Conn., and at the Beacon Charter High School for the Arts in Woonsocket and the Blackstone Academy Charter School in Pawtucket, Fasteson said he has also worked as a security guard and is now a self-employed tutor who is otherwise concentrating on his campaign.

He said his politics have always been Democratic and that he helped with the campaigns of President Obama and U.S. Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse.

Fasteson, who is married and lives in a condominium complex behind the Apple Valley Mall, said he will focus on his own platform rather than talking about Archambault.

"I don't even know him," he said.

Archambault won the seat in a lopsided 2012 victory over Republican Richard Poirier.

A lawyer and one-time police officer, Archambault succeeded John J. Tassoni Jr., who did not seek a new term after a dozen years in office.

Archambault, a former president of the Smithfield Town Council, had no primary opponent two years ago.

He did run in a primary for state attorney general in 2010, but lost to Peter F. Kilmartin, who went on to win the office in the general election.

The District 22 seat includes all of Smithfield and parts of North Providence and Johnston.

Fasteson said he is not daunted by seeking the post without party endorsement, asserting that because of events under existing Democratic leaders - he mentioned the 38 Studios debacle as an example - "getting an endorsement in Rhode Island is almost a liability."

During his own campaign two years ago, Archambault, whose Senate term post-dates the much-maligned state loan guarantee for the ill-fated 38 Studios, termed it "an unacceptable sweetheart deal for the politically connected."

In this session he co-signed a Republican-generated bill, still pending, seeking investigative hearings into the loan guarantee.

Fasteson said he's running because he feels established leadership isn't working and is out of touch with the population.