Dozens apply to be Rhode Island’s next lieutenant governor

The Rhode Island State House. Photo by Steve Klamkin WPRO News

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Lawmakers both current and former, community activists, a one-time mayor, ordinary citizens and even a TV weather forecaster are among those who want to be Rhode Island’s next lieutenant governor.

The transition office of current Lt. Gov. Daniel McKee on Tuesday released a list of about 60 people who have applied to replace him when he takes over if current Gov. Gina Raimondo is confirmed by the U.S. Senate as President Joe Biden’s commerce secretary.

“I am heartened by the response we received from Rhode Islanders who are interested in getting involved to strengthen our state,” the Democrat said in a statement. “I thank them for sharing their unique perspectives on how the lieutenant governor position can help move Rhode Island forward as we roll out vaccines and rebuild our economy.”

State Sen. Louis DiPalma, state Rep. Grace Diaz, and former Sen. Donna Nesselbush are on the list, as are Providence City Council President Sabina Matos and former Central Falls Mayor James Diossa. McKee’s former opponent in the 2018 Democratic primary, Aaron Regunberg, is also on the list. It also includes T.J. Del Santo, a WPRI-TV weather forecaster.

McKee will pick someone to replace him after he is sworn in as governor.