EAST PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — The mayor of the state’s fifth-largest city has opted not to throw his hat into the ring to replace former Rep. David Cicilline.
East Providence Mayor Bob DaSilva told 12 News Monday that he had considered a bid for Congress, but instead decided it was more important to lead the city.
DaSilva said numerous people have reached out to him regarding the open seat.
“They say I’d be a great candidate because of what I’ve been able to accomplish in a short period of time here,” he said. “But there’s way too much more to be done.”
Cicilline, who now serves as president and CEO of the Rhode Island Foundation, officially resigned last week. He first announced his intentions to step down back in February, which has triggered a special election for his open seat.
The race to replace Cicilline, who represented the 1st Congressional District for more than a decade, is already jam-packed. There are currently 15 Democrats vying for the seat.
State Rep. Nathan Biah exited the congressional race Monday to instead run to replace the late Sen. Maryellen Goodwin. Goodwin, 58, passed away earlier this year following a lengthy battle with colon cancer.
“Maryellen Goodwin was a mentor to me and a passionate advocate for our district,” Biah said. “We spent nearly three years working together as colleagues in the General Assembly and I am excited to build on her legacy of leadership as a member of the Senate.”
Biah originally announced his candidacy for Congress back in March, and cited his day job as principal of Dr. Jorge Alvarez High School as his motivation. He said he’s running for R.I. Senate for the same reasons he initially entered the Congressional race.
“I entered politics to solve the problems I see every day as a principal and a father,” Biah said. “Whether it’s gun violence, untreated mental health problems, housing insecurity, or the lack of good jobs — every problem we face as a state and as a nation ends up walking through the doors of a public school. I have been a leader in addressing those challenges and will continue to do so as a state Senator.”
The special primary for Cicilline’s seat has been scheduled for Sept. 5, with the special election to follow on Nov. 7. Cicilline previously said his staff will continue to operate his district’s office until a new representative has been chosen.