In Senate District 29, longtime incumbent Michael McCaffrey and challenger Laura Pisaturo are both gearing up for the primary that will decide who takes the Senate seat.
Both candidates are spending freely, and of the local primaries, the senate race would appear to be the hottest.
McCaffrey said he has been busy knocking on doors and said Wednesday he would be visiting Meadowbrook Terrace. He plans to visit other senior centers late this week.
Pisaturo said she has been meeting with individuals from various neighborhoods, and has been actively updating her Twitter to highlight places and events she has visited in the past weeks.
“My campaign is about being present in Warwick, about listening to the voters of Warwick,” wrote Pisaturo in an email yesterday. “It's about conversations, not events.”
McCaffrey, the endorsed Democratic candidate, said he has received endorsements from a “cross-section of different organizations.”
Among those that have given their official seal of approval to McCaffrey are Rhode Island Council 94, AFSCME, AFL-CIO; the Rhode Island Construction and Building Trades Council; the Carpenter’s Union Local 94; the International Union of Operating Engineers, Local 57 and the national Education Association (NEA) Rhode Island.
Pisaturo’s latest endorsements came from the National Association of Social Workers, Rhode Island Chapter, and Clean Water Action. She also has endorsements from Marriage Equality Rhode Island, Fight Back RI, The Victory Fund, Planned Parenthood Votes! and the National Organization for Women.
“I'm proud to have the endorsement of so many organizations who are committed to change,” said Pisaturo. “But the endorsement I'm working the hardest to earn is that of the voters in Warwick's 29th Senate District.”
Despite his various endorsements, McCaffrey said the “answer is simple” when it comes to voting for him. McCaffrey cited his lifelong Warwick residency and contributions to the city as clear reasons to re-elect him.
McCaffrey said the memorandum of understanding to get PILOT payments from Johnson & Wales University on the Radisson Hotel, his work on the car rental surcharge and his push against the meal and beverage tax were all ways in which he benefited the city and its businesses.
Pisaturo said people should vote for her because of her intense focus on rebuilding the economy and creating jobs.
“We've talked about increasing access to capital for small businesses, reducing bureaucratic red tape and bringing confidence back to government,” she said. “Those are real solutions that will help get us moving in the right direction again.”
According to campaign finance reports updated as of Sept. 4, McCaffrey has spent a total of $32,339.09 on his campaign since his first reported expenditure of the year on May 23. More than half of that – $16,560.31 in campaign and aggregate expenses – was spent since Aug. 14. Pisaturo, on the other hand, has spent a total of $11,112.16 since her first reported campaign expenditure on Aug. 29. Pisaturo’s most recent filing shows she spent $6,049.99 in campaign and aggregate expenses between Aug. 14 and Sept. 4.
Pisaturo currently has $34,265.94 in total assets, with McCaffrey’s totaling $120,868.51.
“I feel confident,” said McCaffrey about his chances in the election. “The response I’m getting on the street is very good.”
But Pisaturo feels otherwise, and thinks it’s time for a change, a change that is, for her, the central issue of the election.
“This race remains about one thing: Change versus more of the same,” she said. “Warwick is ready for new ideas and new leadership in the General Assembly.”
She went on to say that Rhode Island’s tough times are the result of stagnation in the legislature.
“The same old politics and politicians aren't getting the job done,” she said. “Warwick is ready for change, and I am up to the challenge.”
Pisaturo, who is grateful to Warwick’s voters for their “warm and enthusiastic response” to her campaign, said her campaign will be offering rides to the polls next Tuesday. Those interested should call 401-388-0029 or visit www.pisaturoforsenate.com for polling information.
“The primary is the election in this race,” said McCaffrey. “I encourage [voters] to come out on September 11.”
To find your polling place, visit www.sos.ri.gov/vic.