Johnston state Senate seat to remain vacant through November


Johnston’s primary seat in the state Senate will stay empty until after the November election.

Sen. Frank Lombardo III, a Democrat representing District 25 (Johnston) since 2010, died overnight Feb. 21, following a battle with cancer.

According to Faith Chybowski, director of communications for Rhode Island Secretary of State Gregg M. Amore, “under State law, Sen. Lombardo’s seat will remain vacant until his successor is elected in November and sworn in in January.”

A seat vacancy two weeks earlier would have triggered a special election.

“If the vacancy occurs after the first Monday in February in the second year of the biennial period for which a general assembly was chosen, no warrant shall be issued for a special election to fill the vacancy,” according to state law.

Johnston Mayor Joseph Polisena Jr. confirmed “the seat will remain vacant until the end of its term, which is the beginning of January 2025.” He assured Lombardo’s constituents that they will not lack for representation in the meantime.

“I’ve spoken with both senate leadership and Sen. Frank Ciccone, who is the only other senator with Johnston in their district,” Polisena said Friday. “I’ve been assured Johnston will remain well represented, and in the spirit of Sen. Lombardo, during the vacancy.”

Sen. Frank A. Ciccone, a Democrat, has been representing District 7 (Providence, Johnston) since 2002.

Sen. Lombardo held several committee seats and a chairmanship. He was the chairman of the Senate Committee on Housing & Municipal Government, and a member of the Commerce, Labor and Rules, Government Ethics & Oversight Senate Committees.


No comments on this item Please log in to comment by clicking here