• McKee team finishes first round of interviews for new RI lieutenant gov.

    McKee team finishes first round of interviews for new RI lieutenant gov.


    Posted:  Updated: 

    PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Gov. Dan McKee is one step closer to picking Rhode Island’s new No. 2 statewide officeholder.

    McKee’s office confirmed Tuesday that his team of vetters has finished their first round of interviews with some of the dozens of Rhode Islanders who have applied to take McKee’s old position as lieutenant governor now that he has succeeded Gina Raimondo.

    State House insiders believe the top contenders include Providence City Council President Sabina Matos, former Central Falls Mayor James Diossa, R.I. Democratic Party Treasurer Liz Beretta-Perik and state Sen. Lou DiPalma. But people close to McKee have cautioned that the situation is fluid.

    McKee spokesperson Andrea Palagi declined to say how many of the initial interviewees will move on to the next round of the selection process, though the governor has indicated he expects to make a decision within the next month.

    “As we mentioned, all applicants were offered an initial interview,” Palagi said, adding, “Individuals have not yet been notified about next steps.”

    On Monday, McKee told 12 News he plans to interview “a couple” finalists himself. But he also suggested there is value to talking with everyone who applied.

    “We don’t know who we’re going to find there,” he said. “We may find people who maybe aren’t going to be the person that’s selected as lieutenant governor, but we may find people who are willing to serve on boards. We may find people that you might want to employ. We don’t know.”

    McKee’s nominee will need to be confirmed by the Senate. If approved, the new lieutenant governor will serve out the remainder of McKee’s unfinished term, which expires at the end of 2022.

    The governor’s office said the following 60 individuals were given an initial interview:

    1. Robert Albanese
    2. Dana Amore
    3. Mark Aubrey
    4. Ray Berberick 
    5. Liz Beretta-Perik
    6. Ed Brady
    7. Maria Bucci
    8. John Bushee
    9. Adam Carbone
    10. John Carlevale, Sr.
    11. Dylan Conley
    12. Marco Cross
    13. Michelle David
    14. William Delaney
    15. Andrew Demosthenous
    16. Michael DeRobbio
    17. Rep. Grace Diaz
    18. Mayor James Diossa
    19. Sen. Louis DiPalma
    20. TJ Del Santo
    21. Brandon Fernandes
    22. Shirley Francis-Fraser
    23. Joanne Giannini
    24. Tommy Goggin
    25. Jared Xavier Goodwin
    26. Bryan Gordon
    27. Alan Gustafson
    28. Bill Guthrie
    29. Bob Hamel
    30. Jordan Horowitz
    31. Jeffrey Hutton
    32. David Iwuc
    33. Paul Kluk
    34. Bob LaFleur
    35. Tracy Loignon
    36. Michael Mancuso
    37. Matthew Mannix
    38. Ray Mathieu
    39. Councilwoman Sabina Matos
    40. Rachael McIntosh
    41. Michael Nolette
    42. Keith Olivera
    43. John Partridge
    44. Mike Payette
    45. Lisa Pelosi
    46. Rep. Robert Phillips
    47. Michael Pisaturo
    48. Riley Rancourt
    49. Sav Rebecchi
    50. Aaron Regunberg
    51. Spencer Rickert
    52. Bill Rives
    53. Paul Rochford
    54. Christopher Rock
    55. Kayla Rogers
    56. Matt Santos
    57. Tom Shields
    58. Stuart Spitalnic
    59. Chris Stanley
    60. Rep. Anastasia Williams

    Last week, McKee’s office confirmed that the interviews are not being conducted at the State House, but rather at the private offices of CFO Compliance. The Providence campaign-finance consulting company was co-founded by former R.I. Department of Administration Director Brett Smiley.

    McKee’s aides said the interviews are being conducted on behalf of the governor by the following individuals: Tony Afonso, Channavy Chhay, Dr. Catarina DaSilva, Brad Dean, Rosa DeCastillo, Erin Donovan Boyle, Brendan Doherty, Craig Dwyer, Chris Farrell, Paulette Hamilton, Bill Murray, Jennifer Ortiz, Joe Polisena, Armand Sabitoni and Kristin Urbach.

    Ted Nesi (tnesi@wpri.com) is a Target 12 investigative reporter and 12 News politics/business editor. He co-hosts Newsmakers and writes Nesi’s Notes on Saturdays. Connect with him on TwitterFacebookLinkedIn and Instagram

    Kim Kalunian contributed to this report.


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