Keable, Jennings face off in primary for District 47

Keable, Jennings face off in primary for District 47

GLOCESTER – Two Democrats face off in the Wednesday, Sept. 12, primary election, vying for a seat in the Rhode Island General Assembly in District 47.

Representing Burrillville and Glocester, incumbent Cale Keable, who is endorsed, served as state representative since 2010 and is running for re-election again this year. His Democratic opponent, Russell Jennings, is a newcomer to politics and Rhode Island, hoping to make a change.

Keable is outspoken against the proposed Invenergy power plant, opposed to it being built on forested land in Burrillville.

According to a press release, Keable is a leader at the Statehouse, opposing the power plant, working to reform the plant siting process and to provide greater protections and rights to communities where power plants are proposed.

“I am eager to return to the Statehouse to continue our fight to reform the Energy Facilities Siting Board to completion, to continue to fight the opioid epidemic, and to see through the complete elimination of the car tax to help our middle class,” he said.

Jennings, a Texas transplant who has lived in New England for 11 years, said he is opposed to the power plant and wants to protect retired members of the community who have lost their pensions.

“It’s a chronic problem. They were teachers, nurses, doctors, anyone in the public sector,” he said. “They would have never taken the job if they had known they were not going to keep that benefit.”

Campaigning for his first time, Jennings said fundraising and getting his name out there is more difficult than he thought it would be.

“It was the unexpected challenge of the whole thing. But I like it. I feel better connected with the community,” Jennings said.

Early in his campaign, Jennings appealed the Board of Elections decision to not accept his intent to run forms when he filled out the wrong district, but Jennings was able to prove filling out a district is not required at time of filing.

When told he sounded like a politician, he replied, “Hopefully, a winning politician.”

Keable never missed a legislative day during his time in the General Assembly and said he looks forward to being an active voice for his community.

The winner of the Democratic primary will go on to face endorsed Republican candidate David Place in the November general election.


515 Camp Dixie Road, Pascoag

Age: 42

Years in Community: Lifelong

Employment: Litigation attorney at Partridge Snow and Hahn

Education: Bachelor’s degree in economics and history from Providence College, juris doctorate from Harvard

Community Activities: Board of Trustees in New England Organ Bank, member of Industrial Foundation of Burrillville, president of Harvard Law Association of Rhode Island, member of Rhode Island Bar Association

Public Service: Chairman, House Judiciary Committee; member, House Committee on Rules

Family: Wife Colleen, son William

Keable did not respond to requests for profile information from The Valley Breeze. This profile is compiled from his campaign Facebook page.


33 Eagle Peak Road, Pascoag

Age: 39

Years in Glocester: 2

Employment: Self-employed - blacksmith

Education: Associate’s degree in computer science from Central Texas Community College

Community Activities: Providence court-appointed special advocate, volunteer sailing instructor out of Port of Providence

Military Service: Medical discharge from Marines

Family: Fiancée Renee