PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Pawtucket native Gabe Amo, a former White House official, has formally announced his run for the congressional seat being vacated by David Cicilline.

Amo — who had been considering a run since Cicilline announced his impending resignation in February — resigned last week from his position working in the Biden administration.

“I’ve seen first-hand what’s at stake – Republicans in Congress want to cut Social Security and Medicare, ban abortion nationally, and they’re doing nothing to combat senseless gun violence and climate change or to lower costs,” Amo said in a statement.

He had been working as President Biden’s liaison to mayors and local elected officials across the country before his recent resignation to run for the seat. He previously worked as an aide to then-Gov. Gina Raimondo, and before that in the Obama White House.

Amo made his announcement in a video, which he describes as documenting his journey from “a poor kid in Pawtucket to serving in the White House and State House.”

The son of immigrants from Ghana and Liberia, Amo graduated from Moses Brown High School before attending Wheaton College.

Reached by phone, Amo said he is in the process of moving back to Rhode Island from Washington, and noted he has been in the state frequently since taking the White House job. (He doesn’t know yet which community he’ll live in, but it will be in the 1st Congressional District, he said.)

“I’m really focused on the high-stakes situation that we’re in now,” Amo said.

Amo joins the increasingly crowded Democratic primary, with 14 candidates and counting. Jamestown businessman Don Carlson was the latest entry on Sunday, and a full list of candidates can be found here.

Cicilline is planning to step down on June 1 to lead the Rhode Island Foundation.

The primary is slated to take place on Sept. 5, with the special election on Nov. 7.

Steph Machado ( is a Target 12 investigative reporter covering Providence, politics and more for 12 News. Connect with her on Twitter and on Facebook.