At least on the national level, the 2020 campaign has been underway for quite a while.
The crowded field of Democratic presidential aspirants has already gathered for two debates, with another scheduled for October. The president, meanwhile, is seemingly always in campaign mode.
And while reminders of the local races in store next year have, to this point, been fewer and farther between, that has started to change.
More and more in recent weeks, names have emerged of candidates eying General Assembly seats, mayor’s offices or positions on city and town councils. It’s a reminder that less than a year from now, on Sept. 8, 2020, Rhode Islander voters will head to the polls for the statewide primary election.
While none of Rhode Island’s five major offices – governor, lieutenant governor, secretary of state, treasurer and attorney general – are up until 2022, there will be no shortage of intriguing contests. That will be particularly true for the General Assembly, where deep divisions continue to fester in the enormous Democratic majority.
In Cranston, voters will elect a mayor other than Allan Fung – who is leaving office due to term limits – for the first time since 2008. In Warwick, Mayor Joseph Solomon will seek his second elected term after first taking over from Scott Avedisian in May 2018.
In Johnston, Mayor Joseph Polisena won’t be on the ballot as he serves his final four-year term, but as in Cranston, the maneuvering to succeed him has already begun.
Local election coverage is a cornerstone of our mandate and mission, and as in years past, we remain dedicated to providing voters with as full a picture of the candidates and issues at play as possible. Doing so, we believe, is an essential part of the democratic process and vital to the civic health of our communities.
Yet our efforts mean comparatively little without robust citizen involvement, and we also urge our readers, and all members of our communities, to take an active part in the local political process in the year ahead.
For some, that might mean a bid for office. For others, it might mean advocating on behalf of a candidate or cause. It truly can be as simple as staying informed and helping loved ones, friends and neighbors do the same.
Whatever form involvement takes, we will be right there with you, and for you, in the months to come. The stakes are high for our shared present and our future, and we are privileged to play a part in this enormously important process.