By Associated Press - Sunday, March 23, 2014

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) - House Majority Leader Nicholas Mattiello (mat-ee-EHL’-oh) has claimed he has enough votes to succeed Gordon Fox as Rhode Island speaker but a would-be challenger is denying that, saying he has lined up the necessary support.

Mattiello told The Associated Press on Saturday he believes he has the votes needed to win a vote as soon as Tuesday. He wants Rep. John DeSimone to be majority leader.

But WPRI-TV reports Rep. Michael Marcello (mar-SELL’-oh) is claiming the support needed to assume the speakership. Rep. Christopher Blazejewski is his pick for majority leader.

Fox announced his resignation as speaker Saturday and said he won’t seek re-election. The announcement came a day after federal and state authorities raided his Statehouse office and home. Authorities have not said whom or what they are probing.

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