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Endorsed candidates will lead the fight for reproductive freedom in Rhode Island as states across the country move to eliminate abortion access

(Providence, RI) — Today, Planned Parenthood Votes! Rhode Island Political Action Committee (PPV!RI PAC) announced the first round of candidate endorsements for the 2022 General Assembly elections. These 69 candidates (22 in the Rhode Island Senate and 47 in the Rhode Island House of Representatives) will defend reproductive rights and work to expand access to sexual and reproductive health care, including abortion, for all Rhode Islanders.

“Across the country, anti-abortion politicians, with the help of the U.S. Supreme Court and other federal judges hostile to our freedoms, have robbed people of the right to control their bodies and make their own personal health decisions by passing increasingly radical and extreme abortion bans,” said Amanda Skinner, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood Votes! Rhode Island and a member of the Planned Parenthood Votes! Rhode Island PAC. “The fight for reproductive freedom now rests with the states – we need to elect champions in Rhode Island who will defend our rights. Planned Parenthood patients are counting on us.”

Three weeks ago, the U.S. Supreme Court eliminated the federal constitutional right to abortion by overturning Roe v. Wade. The right to abortion is protected in Rhode Island state law thanks to the historic passage of the Reproductive Privacy Act of 2019, an achievement made possible in large part by a record number of PPV!RI PAC-endorsed candidates elected to the General Assembly. This year, in deciding to endorse candidates for the 2022 elections, PPV!RI PAC looked at many factors: the current political landscape in a post-Roe America, candidates’ records on the issues, and legislative priorities including finally passing the Equality in Abortion Coverage Act (EACA). 

Planned Parenthood Votes! Rhode Island and its associated PAC works to defend reproductive rights and ensure equitable access to sexual and reproductive health care for Rhode Islanders who rely on Planned Parenthood. This requires backing incumbents in the General Assembly who have led the fight for reproductive freedom in our state – and demanding those in leadership positions won’t block crucial bills from getting called for a vote. PPV!RI PAC is also committed to supporting challengers taking on anti-abortion politicians who are determined to unravel the progress we’ve made. 

According to Skinner, “Rhode Islanders deserve elected officials who will take bold, unapologetic action to protect and expand access to abortion. The status quo is no longer good enough — we need these champions in the General Assembly to pass policies, like the Equality in Abortion Coverage Act, to help ensure everyone can exercise the fundamental right to control their own body and determine their own future.”

Reproductive health and rights are overwhelmingly winning issues, and voters will remember this Supreme Court decision when they cast their ballots this election. Nationally, nearly 80% of Americans want abortion to remain legal. Last election, voters sent a record-breaking number of champions for reproductive freedom to the General Assembly: 49 PPV!RI PAC-endorsed candidates won their elections in 2020. The outcome of the 2020 General Assembly election sent an undeniable message — the people of Rhode Island demand leaders who will protect and expand access to sexual and reproductive health care and defend abortion rights.


The list of endorsed candidates includes those who have declared their intention to run who may not yet be certified on the ballot by the Secretary of the State.

Donnie Anderson (District 1)
Sam Zurier* (District 3)
Leonardo (Lenny) Cioe Jr. (District 4)
Samuel Bell* (District 5)
Tiara Mack* (District 6)
Arthur Flanders (District 7)
Sandra Cano* (District 8)

Dawn Euer* (District 13)
Valarie Lawson* (District 14)
Meghan Kallman* (District 15)
Jonathon Acosta* (District 16)
Cameron Deutsch (District 17)
Ryan Pearson* (District 19)
Giang (Jenny) Bui (District 21)
Melissa Murray* (District 24)
Eric Asselin (District 26)
Joshua Miller* (District 28)
Jennifer Rourke (District 29)
Jeanine Calkin* (District 30)
Bridget Valverde* (District 35)
Alana DiMario* (District 36)
V. Susan Sosnowski* (District 37)

House of Representatives
Edith H. Ajello* (District 1)
Christopher Blazejewski* (District 2)
Rebecca Kislak* (District 4)
Damián Lima (District 6)
David Morales* (District 7) 
John J. Lombardi* (District 8)
Anastasia P. Williams* (District 9)
Jose F. Batista* (District 12)
Giona Picheco (District 14)
Brandon Potter* (District 16)
Arthur Handy* (District 18)
Joseph M. McNamara* (District 19)
David A. Bennett* (District 20)
Capri Catanzaro (District 21)
Zakary Pereira (District 22)
K. Joseph Shekarchi* (District 23)
Evan P. Shanley* (District 24)
Samara Yelle (District 26)
Scott Guthrie (District 28)
Justine Caldwell* (District 30)
Julie A. Casimiro* (District 31)
Robert Craven* (District 32)
Carol Hagan McEntee* (District 33)
Teresa A. Tanzi* (District 34)
Kathleen A. Fogarty* (District 35)
Megan Cotter (District 39)
Linda Nichols (District 40)
Kelsey Coletta (District 42)
Marlene Guay (District 51)
Clara Hardy (District 55)
Joshua J. Giraldo* (District 56)
Brandon Voas (District 57)
Jean Philippe Barros* (District 59)
Karen Alzate* (District 60)
Leonela Felix* (District 61)
Mary Duffy Messier* (District 62)
Katherine S. Kazarian* (District 63)
Brianna Henries* (District 64)
Jennifer Boylan (District 66)
Jason Knight* (District 67)
June Speakman* (District 68)
Susan R. Donovan* (District 69)
John G. Edwards* (District 70)
Michelle E. McGaw* (District 71)
Terri Cortvriend* (District 72)
Marvin L. Abney* (District 73)
Lauren H. Carson* (District 75)

*candidate is the incumbent

PPV!RI PAC may release a second round of endorsements in the coming weeks. Depending on the outcome of primary races, PPV!RI PAC may also issue additional endorsements for the general election.

Primary elections will be held on Tuesday, September 13, 2022. Election Day is Tuesday, November 8, 2022.

For more information about Planned Parenthood Votes! Rhode Island and the Planned Parenthood Votes! Rhode Island PAC, visit ppvotes.org


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