Roselli and de la Cruz face off for Senate District 23 seat

Roselli and de la Cruz face off for Senate District 23 seat

Jessica de la Cruz, the Republican incumbent, left, and opponent Democrat Paul Roselli.

NORTH SMITHFIELD – Jessica de la Cruz, the Republican incumbent representing state Senate District 23, will face a challenge from Democrat Paul Roselli when voters head to the polls next week.

De la Cruz was first elected in 2018, a year when Roselli also tried to claim the seat. Roselli was defeated in the Democratic primary that year, while de la Cruz defeated Burrillville Town Council President John Pacheco in the Republican primary and went on to win the general election.

The district includes portions of Burillville, North Smithfield and Glocester. De la Cruz is from North Smithfield, while Roselli is a Burrillville resident.

The two candidates have sparred over environmental issues and tax policy. Roselli, a vocal environmental activist and president of the Burrillville Land Trust, has accused de la Cruz of not “speaking the language” of voters in the district. De la Cruz pointed out she co-sponsored a bill to reform the Energy Facility Siting Act and said she’s pro-environment but also pro-worker.

Meet the candidates for Senate District 23:

Jessica de la Cruz

120 School St., North Smithfield

Party: Republican

Age: 39

Years in community: five

Employment: left career to stay home with children and manage rental properties; former program assistant at Brown University

Education: East Providence High School

Community activities/public service: state senator for District 23 (2018–present); serves on Senate Judiciary Committee and Senate Labor Committee; involved with various community events, including soup kitchens, toy drives, nursing home visits and youth programs

Family: husband, David; three sons

Paul Roselli

665 Maureen Circle, Mapleville

Party: Democrat

Age: 68

Years in community: 37

Employment: documentary filmmaker, owner of VideoZ – Corporate Film & Video Productions, LLC (1996–present); formerly CVS and Brown University

Education: LaSalle Academy (1970); Bachelor of Science in Plant and Soil Science, University of Rhode Island (1974); master’s degree in Adult Education, University of Rhode Island (1976); pursuing a master’s degree in Global Environmental Studies at Bryant University

Community activities/public service: president, Burrillville Land Trust (2006–present); president, Rhode Island Association of Conservation Commissions (2018-present); executive board secretary, Civic Alliance for a Cooler Rhode Island (2016-present); Rhode Island Disaster Medical Assistance Team volunteer; member, RI House Special Legislative Commission to study the Energy Facilities Siting Act (2017-2018); former member, Burrillville Conservation Commission

Family: two children