Matos addresses media over alleged fraudulent signatures
PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WLNE) — The Rhode Island Board of Elections voted five to one on Friday afternoon to approve a deeper investigation into the congressional campaign of Lt. Gov. Sabina Matos concerning allegations of fraudulent signatures turned in on behalf of her campaign.
Not long after that decision the lieutenant governor met with the media.
“I think it was not right to give out any statement, any comments directly to the media before the board made their decision,” Matos said.
This was the second time Matos has addressed the issue. She released a lengthy statement Thursday that said her campaign was “deeply disappointed and angry” over reports of allegedly fraudulent signatures.
As far as the allegations, she blamed an outside vendor named Harmony Solutions.
“Let’s be clear, my campaign is not under investigation,” the lieutenant governor said. “A vendor that my campaign hired is under investigation.”
Matos repeatedly told the that media that regardless of the outcome of the criminal and electoral investigations, she expected to run her congressional campaign to the very end.
“Yes, I’m going to defend my name and my family name to the end,” Matos said. “And I’m going to stay in this campaign because they need people like me to go to Washington and fight for every Rhode Islander.”
Matos also addressed her opponents in the crowded Democratic 1st Congressional District primary who have spoken out critically of her campaign.
“This fraud hurts all of us, and using it for political attacks to try to help themselves is shameful,” she said. “I expect those Washington-style attacks from the MAGA Republicans, but not from my fellow Democrats, who I have always treated with respect.”
Two formal challenges were filed against Matos’ campaign on Thursday, one of which was by fellow candidate Donald Carlson.
Matos said she wasn’t made aware of the challenges to her campaign until it was covered in the news.
The electoral investigation would need to be completed before the Sept. 5 primary, but there is no set timeline for the criminal investigation that is also underway.
According to Matos’ lawyer, even without those signatures she would still qualify for the ballot.