Cano takes Senate 8 seat with special election win

Cano takes Senate 8 seat with special election win

Sandra Cano, center, celebrates her Senate District 8 win at Spumoni's Restaurant Tuesday with, from left, Sen. Dawn Euer, District 13, Newport and Jamestown, Sen. Ana Quezada, District 2, Providence, and Sen. Donna Nesselbush, District 15, Pawtucket and North Providence. (Breeze photo by Charles Lawrence)

PAWTUCKET – Sandra Cano again coasted to victory in the special election for Senate District 8, following up her impressive primary win over two Democrats by defeating Republican Nathan Luciano by more than a 2-1 margin.

Tuesday's special election drew an even smaller turnout than the primary. Cano took 629 votes, to 234 votes for Luciano. She'll now take the seat previously occupied by Sen. Jamie Doyle, who resigned this year.

“I am overwhelmed by the support Pawtucket voters have shown me, during this special election and in tonight’s win,” said Cano in a release. “It is a great honor to be elected to serve as their state senator, and to take on the challenges that face our city and state at this time. Senate Democrats and the leadership have been so supportive of my bid for office: I promise to bring the same commitment to community that I have given these many years as a Pawtucket elected leader."

Pawtucket will now have to hold a special election to replace Cano as she leaves her at-large position on the Pawtucket City Council.

Cano was the easy favorite in the race against Luciano, particularly after Luciano won the primary race with 77 total votes.

"I am happy that today the people of District 8 had a choice when they went to the polls," Luciano told The Breeze after the loss. "I was honored to be the Republican candidate and I thank everyone who came out to vote today. I am very thankful for the overwhelming support form the people of Pawtucket. Thank you."

Cano, a graduate of Harvard University’s Executive Leadership program, the University of Rhode Island graduate school in public administration and Bryant University’s business management program, campaigned on bringing more state aid to Pawtucket for its schools, improving services for senior citizens, keeping property taxes down, attracting new businesses and expanding workforce training, and keeping Hasbro and the Pawtucket Red Sox in Pawtucket.

President of the Senate Dominick Ruggerio said, “Sandra’s victory is a result of her hard work on behalf of the people of Pawtucket and her vision for our great state. I am very pleased to welcome her to the Senate, where we will work together to make Pawtucket and our state an even better place to live and work.”

“Tonight’s decisive win shows that the people of our state are looking for strong, qualified Democratic leaders and Sandra Cano is just such a leader,” said R.I. Democratic Party Chairman Joseph McNamara. “Rhode Island is lucky to have her in the General Assembly and we look forward to more of the Blue Wave in the months ahead.”

On hand to take results Tuesday evening were Mayors Donald Grebien of Pawtucket and James Diossa of Central Falls, who both cheered Cano's win.

“While I’m disappointed to lose a great city councilwoman, I know she will continue to do great things for the city of Pawtucket and the state of Rhode Island in her new capacity as a state senator,” said Grebien. “She is incredibly talented and committed to the people whom she serves and she’ll be an even greater state senator.”

“I’ve had the honor of knowing and working with Sandra Cano for many years,” said Diossa. “She’ll be an effective and compassionate leader who will advocate for economic opportunity and business growth for our residents and will bring her experience – in city service and in the private sector – to the many challenges that lie ahead."

Cano is expected to be sworn in later this month following certification of the vote and absentee ballots.


With the election of such a vibrant, intelligent young woman, I certainly hope that things can change in the State of Rhode Island. Then I see that picture of her with those three and realize they're probably already in her ear telling her that this is how things work at the State House and she better not try to rock the boat or she'll never get anything accomplished. Good luck Sandra, but I'd stay as far away from that crew as possible if you want to help RI.

District 8 still wants another Democrat. There must be a lot of government workers in that district. Why else would there be so many years of Jamie Doyle? You could have tried a Republican for a change.

This vote represented 7%, I heard, of the actual number of people who could vote in this election. Where was the effort to get out the vote? How complacent are the voters? And why? I hope Ms. Cano rises above the powers that will seek to control her every vote and position. You got it now - you're a good person - register your district to vote - and get to know who they are - because there are a lot of folks out there who weren't even inspired enough to vote. Best of luck.