Democrat Amo may very well be 1st individual of shade to symbolize Rhode Island in Congress after major win

Former White Home aide Gabe Amo may change into the primary individual of shade to symbolize Rhode Island in Congress after his win Tuesday within the crowded Democratic major for the state’s 1st Congressional District particular election despatched him on to the overall election within the closely Democratic state.

Amo, who grew up in Pawtucket the son of Ghanaian and Liberian immigrants, hopes to succeed former Democratic Rep. David Cicilline, who stepped down earlier this summer season to change into the president and CEO of the Rhode Island Basis.

“This major election reveals that Rhode Islanders imagine in a state the place certainly one of their sons, the son of two West African immigrants from Ghana and Liberia, may obtain the love and funding of a group and go from serving the president of america … to being the Democratic nominee for Congress for the first Congressional District,” Amo instructed cheering supporters.

If elected, Amo mentioned he would handle “a number of the essential wants of this nation,” whether or not it’s stopping gun violence, addressing the local weather disaster, strengthening Social Safety or defending reproductive freedom.

“On the finish of the day, defending folks so that everybody has alternative,” he added.

Amo will sq. off in opposition to Gerry Leonard, a U.S. Marine veteran and political newcomer who defeated fellow Republican candidate Terri Flynn, a former city council member, to win the GOP major Tuesday.

“We’re excited right here,” Leonard instructed The Related Press after profitable.

“I’m wanting ahead with nice anticipation of getting out and persevering with to maneuver round District 1 and meet Rhode Islanders. Inform them my message. Inform them my story and inform them what I intend to do for the state,” he mentioned. “We have to begin sending leaders to Washington, D.C. that put ideas earlier than politics and repair earlier than self. That message will resonate.”

Leonard faces a major problem within the normal election in a state that has historically favored Democratic candidates.

Rhode Island Lt. Gov. Sabina Matos, who had hoped to change into the primary Latina elected to Congress from the state, congratulated Amo on his major win.

“Whereas I hoped for a special consequence, tonight’s outcomes present that Rhode Islanders are prepared for extra numerous illustration in Congress for the primary time. We are able to all have a good time and take delight on this historic milestone for our state,” she mentioned in a press release.

Through the marketing campaign, Amo mentioned he would combat to ban assault-style weapons, assist funding for analysis into gun violence prevention on the Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention and implement common background checks.

Amo additionally mentioned he would combat in opposition to what he described as extremist Republican makes an attempt to slash funding for Social Safety and Medicare, work to codify Roe v. Wade into federal regulation, and combat for extra laws on the federal degree to fight local weather change.

Amo labored within the White Home Workplace of Intergovernmental Affairs below President Barack Obama, appearing as a liaison to governors and different state elected officers. After serving within the administration of former Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo, Amo later returned to the Workplace of Intergovernmental Affairs, appearing as a liaison for President Joe Biden to mayors and native officers.

Amo gained the endorsement of former Democratic U.S. Rep. Patrick Kennedy, who represented the district from 1995 to 2011.

The prospect of an open seat in Congress initially drew the eye of dozens of potential candidates, significantly amongst Democrats.

Different Democrats on the poll included former secretary of state candidate Stephanie Beaute, former U.S. Navy intelligence officer Walter Berbrick, Pawtucket state Sen. Sandra Cano, state Rep. Stephen Casey, and Spencer Dickinson.

The Democratic area additionally included Windfall Metropolis Council member John Goncalves, state Democratic state senator Ana Quezada, former two-term state Rep. Aaron Regunberg, and Allen Waters, who challenged Ciciline within the normal election as a Republican final 12 months.

Regunberg had tried to place himself as probably the most progressive of the front-runners, profitable the backing of Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, Democratic U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and actress Jane Fonda.

Leonard has mentioned he believes that Individuals know easy methods to dwell their lives higher than authorities bureaucrats {and professional} politicians do.

The Republican has criticized “Bidenomics,” saying Democratic President Joe Biden’s financial plan hasn’t helped abnormal residents. He additionally mentioned he favors a extra restricted authorities and helps U.S. efforts to help Ukraine in its struggle in opposition to Russia, however mentioned the U.S. additionally wants clear targets and an exit technique.

Leonard additionally mentioned he believes abortion ought to stay a state concern. He additionally mentioned he’s a powerful proponent of time period limits.

Leonard is a resident of Jamestown and a graduate of the Naval Battle Faculty. He served for 3 a long time within the Marines.

If elected, Leonard would change into the primary Republican to symbolize the first Congressional District since former Congressman Ron Machtley, who served from 1989-1995.

The overall election might be held Nov. 7.

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