7 Rhode Island candidates running for District 68 state seat

By News Staff

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Twitter: @ABC6

BRISTOL, R.I. (WLNE) — Seven candidates have filed to run for the special election over the 68th seat in the Rhode Island House of Representatives.

The position was vacated by Laufton Ascencao after he admitted to lying to a group of Warren Town Council candidates.

The following candidates have filed to run for Representative District 68.

Warren:

  • John W. Hanley – Democrat
  • June S. Speakman – Democrat
  • William James Hunt, Jr. – Libertarian
  • James R. McCanna III – Independent

Bristol:

  • Richard Ruggiero – Democrat
  • Nicky Ann Tyska – Independent
  • Kenneth A. Marshall – Independent

Democrat June Speakman worked closely during the campaign with Ascensao while running for Town Council in the last election.

She said she was personally affected by the flub, but is running in the special election.

“This was someone we had worked with and we had trusted so it was really difficult to go through all of that,” she said. “I choose not to say anything bad about [Ascensao], but I can tell you I’m a candidate who has in my 14 years of public service has acted with honesty.”

Ascensao beat out libertarian Bill Hunt in the general election. Hunt is now throwing his hat into the ring again, vying for the spot.

“I think the democratic party is a damaged brand in our district,” Hunt said, who got 35% of the vote against Ascensao in November. “Right now, I’m basically the only small government, conservative candidate in the race who’s going to be the watchdog for taxpayers.”

The seat will now be held by Incumbent Kenneth Marshall, who chose not to seek re-election in November. Marshall now deciding to run again.

The election will take place March 5, with a primary on February 5 if necessary.

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