I write to express my support for Alana DiMario, the endorsed Democratic candidate for the Rhode Island Senate representing North Kingstown and Narragansett.

I met Alana in the summer of 2018 when she ran against me in the Democratic Primary for state senate. Given Alana was my opponent two years ago, some of your readers may think it odd that I am supporting her candidacy today.

After 20 years in the state senate working on issues such as government reform, accessible and affordable healthcare, environment and economic development amongst others, I decided to take a break from politics and spend more time with my family. Having served the people of District 36 for 20 years, it was my hope that the senate seat I was vacating would be filled by someone who would be a dedicated and passionate public servant. I believe Alana DiMario is that person.

While she was my primary opponent, it was clear that Alana was passionate about her [well-researched] public positions, especially her support for women’s reproductive rights. While it is true that Alana has not held elective office, she possesses the critical skills conducive to being an exceptional state lawmaker. She is an intelligent, receptive, hard-working, and seasoned problem-solver -- skills which stem from her years of experience as a licensed mental health counselor. It certainly can be said that being a good listener and problem-solver are skills in small supply and in high demand in a polarized world of politics.

As our state senator, Alana will work tirelessly on those issues we deeply care about in our community. For instance, given the continuing Covid-19 crisis, Alana will fight to make sure that government aid will go to those in greatest need, notably our struggling local businesses and laid off workers. The Covid-19 crisis also underscored how vitally important access to healthcare is. Alana will work diligently to make sure that all Rhode Island residents have access to affordable and quality healthcare. Further, 2020 revealed the very real devastation caused by climate change which contributed to historic wild fires in the west and flooding, especially in the South. As stewards of our environment, it is incumbent upon us to continue to reduce our carbon footprint here in Rhode Island. With this goal in mind, Alana will support legislation that incentivizes renewable energy use and helps break our reliance on fossil fuels. To see Alana’s full platform, please visit: https://www.alana4ri.com/platform

Lastly, Alana will also fight to change the politics as usual and I know a guy culture up on Smith Hill, and be part of creating a General Assembly that will better serve all Rhode Islanders, not just the well-connected few.

For these reasons, I will be voting for Alana DiMario for state senate on Nov. 3.

Senator James C. Sheehan

North Kingstown

The author is the current State Senator representing District 36 (North Kingstown and Narragansett)

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