Sen. Cote will not seek re-election

Sen. Cote will not seek re-election

WOONSOCKET – State Sen. Marc Cote, a veteran Democrat serving District 24 in North Smithfield and Woonsocket, announced this week he will not seek re-election for another term and will retire from public office at the end of his current term on 
Jan. 1.

Cote, who represents the Woonsocket neighborhoods of Bernon, Globe, Fairmount, the North End and city center, and the North Smithfield neighborhoods north of Great Road and east of Route 146, said he plans to focus on his 39-year career in real estate. He works as a commercial real estate broker associate for Boucher Real Estate.

“It’s been an honor to serve in the Senate for the past 24 years. It’s something I’ve really enjoyed,” he told The Valley Breeze.

Cote was first elected to the Rhode Island Senate in November of 1994, when he defeated Republican candidate Roger Nault to claim the seat previously held by Democratic Sen. Peter Bouchard. Cote’s first run as an independent candidate against Bouchard in 1992 was unsuccessful; however, the large numbers of independent candidates across the state in that election cycle, he said, indicated public sentiment following the credit union crisis.

As a state senator, Cote was known for his pro-business legislation, including a bill reducing the tax burden on Woonsocket businesses by allowing tangible property taxes to be prorated on a monthly basis rather than assessed for a full year. In 2014, he was named a “Friend of Small Business” by the Rhode Island chapter of the National Federation of Independent Business for his work during the 2013 and 2014 legislative sessions.

He was also known as an advocate for government reform and in 1999 received Operation Clean Government’s Golden Broom Award for his efforts to promote “honest, responsible and responsive government” in Rhode Island. During his time as senator, he successfully advocated for the adoption of an online bill tracking system that could be accessed by members of the public. He also supported unsuccessful legislation to introduce voter initiative ballot measures to Rhode Island.

“We worked on the legislation to try to make it as responsible as possible while at the same time not impeding people’s ability to bring issues forward,” he said.

In Woonsocket, Cote supported the establishment of Beacon Charter High School for the Arts, helped secure funding for the construction of the Woonsocket Middle Schools and was active in efforts to keep Landmark Medical Center operating in northern Rhode Island. He also advocated for continued state support of World War II Veterans Memorial Park until the completion of upgrades and repairs.

Cote’s greatest challenge for his Senate seat came in 2002, when former State Rep. Stella Brien challenged him in the Democratic primary. That election cycle, the Rhode Island House of Representatives was downsized from 100 to 75 members, leading to an influx in candidates running for Senate.

“I walked the district quite a bit that year,” he recalled.

Cote said his wife, Suzanne, has been supportive throughout his legislative career and agreed it was the right time to transition away from public service.

“You can’t devote the time to something like this without the support of your spouse,” he said. “We both came to the realization together that this was the year.”

The couple recently learned they are expectant grandparents. Their daughter, Monique, is married and works for a medical consulting firm in Portland, Maine, and their son, Justin, works for Fidelity Investments in the Dallas/Fort Worth area.

Cote said that while he has been honored to represent the North Smithfield and Woonsocket communities, he looks forward to devoting himself to his real estate career.

“I would just like to make my life a little less complicated,” he said. “Having the opportunity to be in public service has been frustrating at times and gratifying at other times. It’s time to move on.”


Senator Cote for your years of honest and dedicated service for Woonsocket and Rhode Island.

Another one of those "public servants" who like Supplemental Taxes. Must be getting some pretty good benefits on the way out paid for by taxpayers who aren't as well off as him!

You are wrong. Senator Cote joined the lawsuit (i.e. he was a Plaintiff) that challenged the Supplemental Tax that was levied in Woonsocket.

Pretty sure he said yes to it at the State House, which is all that matters. The law suit failed miserably after the fact. Good riddance.

Under your watch quarter of a decade, Woonsocket has turned into what it is today. You should have been voted out LONG AGO!