PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Nick Autiello, a Providence Democrat and one-time General Assembly candidate who works on international climate strategy, announced Tuesday he is jumping into the primary to replace Congressman David Cicilline.

“Let’s continue sending a new generation to Washington who understands our community, understands what’s at stake for our country, and is ready to fight for the future Rhode Island deserves,” Autiello, 32, said in a statement announcing his campaign.

Born in North Providence, Autiello worked for then-Gov. Gina Raimondo at the R.I. Commerce Corp., and since leaving state government has held various roles working on global efforts to tackle climate change. That included a short period working on climate for England’s King Charles III while he was still prince and heir to the throne. He currently works at State Street.

“From working the overnight shift in the hospitality industry to working tirelessly to rebuild our state and address climate change with partners around the world, I have the experience to be a member of Congress who is in touch with Rhode Islanders’ needs and has the proven ability to work on tough issues and get results,” Autiello said.

He unsuccessfully sought elected office in 2018, receiving 16% of the vote in the three-way Democratic primary for Senate District 5 won by state Sen. Sam Bell. The incumbent in that primary, Paul Jabour, placed second.

Autiello lives in Providence with his husband, Eric, and noted in his news release that he served on the campaign board of the LGBTQ Victory Fund, an influential campaign group. He pledged to “continue Congressman Cicilline’s tireless advocacy for equality” if elected. He was also an outside adviser to Pete Buttigieg’s 2020 presidential campaign.

Autiello is the third prominent Democrat to announce a campaign for the 1st District seat, joining Lt. Gov. Sabina Matos and state Sen. Sandra Cano. The contest is expected to draw a long list of contenders after two big names — House Speaker Joe Shekarchi and former gubernatorial candidate Helena Foulkes — withdrew from consideration in recent days.

Another Democrat, state Rep. Nathan Biah of Providence, filed paperwork on Tuesday with the Federal Election Commission to run for the seat. Biah is a Providence public school principal.

Two other candidates have also filed with the Federal Election Commission to run: Allen Waters, who was the Republican nominee against Cicilline last year but is running as a Democrat this time, and a political newcomer, Democrat Mickeda Barnes.

No Republican has launched a campaign for the 1st District seat so far, though the party’s 2022 nominee for lieutenant governor, Aaron Guckian, is among those who’ve expressed interest in running.

Ted Nesi ( is a Target 12 investigative reporter and 12 News politics/business editor. He co-hosts Newsmakers and writes Nesi’s Notes on Saturdays. Connect with him on Twitter and Facebook