Giannini: What’s In? What’s Out?


What’s In

Governor Gina Raimondo Fends Off Matt Brown

Governor Raimondo easily won her Democratic Primary on Wednesday against Matt Brown.

Now she’s on to November where she will face Mayor Alan Fung and former Rep. Joseph Trillo. The negative advertisements in television have already begun by both sides. So get the popcorn ready and enjoy the show!

Lt. Governor Dan McKee

He managed to claim victory against challenger Aaron Regunberg. Regunberg worked hard to portray the State House as an insider group needing change. (So true). His message was loud and clear and struck a chord with a lot of Rhode Islanders, but McKee had the continued support of the Democratic state elected officials and the Mayors of Northern Rhode Island. Rugenberg offered a valiant fight but was bested by veteran Dan McKee who has seen more then one rodeo.

We Did It

The 7th Representative Democratic District Committee, in Providence, of which I am a member, was elected in the Democratic Primary on Wednesday. Usually these committee seats do not go on the ballot, but our committee faced a challenge this year and we had to run for our district committee seats. Thank you to the people of District-7 in Providence who elected us to represent them. The people rule! đź’Ş

Belen Florez, Rep. Moira Walsh, Rep. Marcia Ranglin Vessel

Rep. Moira Walsh and Rep. Marcia Vessel fought back opponents who were well-funded and supported by Speaker Nicholas Matiello who obviously didn’t want these women back in the State House.

And Belen Florez came within 134 votes in her challenge to Rep. Dan McKiernan of Providence. Florez, a political newcomer fought a David and Goliath battle against McKiernan who was also heavily supported by the Speaker.  Belen Florez won the local Democratic District Committee endorsement, but was not given any support by the state Democratic Party.  Florez already told me she is looking ahead to 2020! 

What’s Out

District committees

I was surprised on Primary day to see State Representatives show up at the Providence Water Board in Providence to work against the Endorsed Democratic candidate Belen Florez for State Representative and our local District Committee by holding signs and campaigning for her opponent Rep. Dan McKierna, who did not seek the local endorsement of the local District Committee. District committees are supposed to endorse candidates for their local communities. In this case, McKiernan was heavily supported by the Speaker of the House and the State Democratic Party tried to override their local endorsement of Belen Florez, but it was ruled out. 

The Speaker flooded the polling precinct at the Providence Water Board with State Representatives and state workers who were working for Mckiernan against Florez. None of them were from the Mt. Pleasant/Elmhurst/Valley neighborhoods, which encompass District-7. This was so not cool and clearly a display of unmitigated power. I was so disappointed to see my former colleagues coming into my neighborhood to work against us in our challenge to represent “ our community “.


It seems that some of the a Gubernatorial candidates felt that debates before the Primary were not necessary. Now we are going  forward to November elections and I hope that the Gubernatorial candidates will all participate in the debate process. It’s the right thing to do!

Joanne Giannini
Joanne Giannini is a former State Representative from Providence. A freelance journalist, consultant and writer, she has previously written commentary for The Providence journal, GolocalProv and WPRO radio. Contact her at