By Associated Press - Friday, October 30, 2020

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) - A first-term lawmaker has formally announced a bid to become the next speaker of the Rhode Island House of Representatives.

Democratic Rep. Liana Cassar in her announcement Thursday promised “inclusive decision-making, diplomatic communication, and transparency that upholds the ideals of ethics and democracy.”

“There is agreement from people on the inside and the outside of the House of Representatives that we need change,” Cassar, who represents portions of Barrington and the Riverside section of East Providence, said in her statement. “What does it say about us as stewards of the public trust if we continue with the status quo?”

Current Speaker Nicholas Mattiello is running for reelection, but he also faces a strong challenge from Republican Barbara Ann Fenton-Fung in his Cranston district in next week’s election.

“Speaker Mattiello is in constant communication with his House colleagues and his support is very strong,” a Mattiello spokesman said in a statement to The Providence Journal.

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