December 18, 2014
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Three in race for Senate Dist. 30 seat
WILLIAM WALASKA

With the recent redistricting, the number of Warwick Senatorial districts has dropped from six to three. No longer do Districts 28, 33 and 35 (represented in last session by Joshua Miller, Glenford Shibley and Dawson Hodgson, respectively) include sections of Warwick. Those districts that remain include 29, 30 and 31. Michael McCaffrey, after defeating first-time challenger Laura Pisaturo in the District 29 primary, retains the seat he has held since 1994. In District 31, Democratic incumbent Erin Lynch stands unchallenged this year. However, there is a three-way race in District 30. Candidates Keith Burkitt, Arthur “Jack” Groh Jr. and incumbent William Walaska were asked what they believe is the central issue of the election and how they plan to address it if elected.

DISTRICT 30

William Walaska
Democrat
Incumbent; State Senator seat since 1994
67
President and CEO, Tri-State Automotive Warehouse

“My top priority remains fostering job growth and economic development. As co-chair of the legislative Port Commission, I championed laws to improve our working waterfronts and help create a potential 1,000 new, quality jobs. As a small business owner, I’ve seen firsthand how difficult bureaucratic government hurdles can be, and sponsored initiatives to cut red tape, such as overhauling the fire code to make it less onerous to businesses while maintaining safety standards. We need to continue these efforts as we overhaul the way economic development is handled in our state. I have a strong record of accomplishment and hope to continue serving as a strong voice for my Warwick constituents in the Senate.”

Keith Burkitt
Republican
Challenger; First-time candidate
Writer and web developer

“At almost 11 percent, Rhode Island has nearly the highest unemployment rate in the country. We rank (for two consecutive years now) as having the worst business climate in America. Communities are in or considering bankruptcy. Let’s not forget 38 Studios. The Democrats, in power for over six decades, are absolutely responsible for what has happened and is happening economically in our state. One-party rule has brought the state to near economic collapse. By electing me and sending the current 18-year incumbent packing, Senate District 30 voters loudly voice their complete displeasure with our incompetent, regularly corrupt General Assembly.” 

Arthur “Jack” Groh
Independent
Challenger; First-time candidate
62
Business owner, environmental projects manager

“The single most significant issue for all of us is the lack of responsiveness by our current elected officials to the real needs of our citizens. The people of Warwick deserve elected representatives who truly listen to them and represent their interests – not the interests of lobbyists and big campaign contributors. Our government has been for sale to the highest bidder for a long time and it needs to stop. I will keep talking with and listening to the citizens of Warwick the same way I have for the past four months on the campaign trail. I am also setting up a website where any citizen of Warwick can sign on and comment about any piece of legislation coming up at the State House – and I will make sure they know about those bills through the website. I pledge to listen to all voices in our community – not just the rich and powerful!”


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