Caucus held to talk about future speaker

By The Associated Press

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WLNE/AP) _ Rhode Island's House majority leader held a meeting to discuss who will become the next speaker after Gordon Fox relinquished the post following raids at his Statehouse office and home as part of a criminal investigation.

Nicholas Mattiello called for a caucus to be held at 5 p.m. Sunday for all House members to declare whom they intend to vote for.

“Things moved quickly.  We were first respectful of Speaker Gordon Fox.  This transition is occurring at a difficult time in a difficult way.  However, everybody is mindful we are gonna move forward,” said Rep. Mattiello.

Both he and Rep. Michael Marcello have claimed they have enough votes to become speaker. Mattiello said Sunday of Marcello's camp: “They will not have a majority, not even close.''

Mattiello said Sunday he has the backing of 30 democrats and 2 republicans, while Marcello said he has the support of 33 democrats.

“I am confident that the voters are gonna look at these numbers very carefully whether we win or loose and they are gonna know right away who wants change and who doesn't,” said Marcello.

Fox announced his resignation as speaker Saturday. His office and home were raided Friday as part of an investigation by federal and state authorities. Officials haven't detailed what or whom they're investigating.

(C) The Associated Press/WLNE-TV 2014