By Paul Zangari and Tessa Roy, WPRO News
Election season is still underway, but that hasn’t stopped some members of the Rhode Island House from distancing themselves from House Speaker Nick Mattiello. On Wednesday, Jamestown and Middletown Representative Deborah Ruggiero became the fourth Democrat to back away from supporting him for another term as Speaker.
“I don’t know who the Speaker will be. I have to evaluate choices, I have to win my election. But I do know who it’s not,” she said.
Ruggiero, who chairs the House Small Business Committee and is on the House Finance Committee, said the House needs a leadership team that is “focused on issues, respects women, and will bring bills to the floor in a timely matter.” She said she wants to see a change in the way the House does business, including more “professionalism, communication, and respect.”
“People should have time to review a Substitute A on a bill. I’d love to see some House rules change so that the constituents can read it online [and] the reps actually read it not just when it’s being submitted,” she said.
As for the handling of the PawSox, Ruggiero says she would have preferred to see the team stay – but was also for safeguarding taxpayers.
Mattiello campaign spokesperson Patti Doyle previously insisted to the Providence Journal that Mattiello has “overwhelming support” from House members. On Wednesday, she suggested Ruggiero “is blatantly misrepresenting the Speaker’s record of accomplishments for her own self interests and election preservation.”