PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Democrat Gregg Amore has been elected as Rhode Island’s next secretary of state, 12 News projects.

Amore is a state representative from East Providence, who has been both a teacher and athletic director at East Providence High School.

“I’d like to thank all of the Townies because East Providence sent me here. My home city voted for me at 72%, and my mother would be really ticked off at that 29% that made the wrong decision,” Amore joked. “But I’m so proud to be from East Providence.”

Amore also thanked all of the Rhode Islanders who elected him.

“Rhode Islanders opened their doors for me, shared their ideas and concerns and they trusted me with their vote,” he said. “I promise to wake up every morning and do my best on their behalf with integrity and humility.”

The current officeholder, Democrat Nellie Gorbea, is leaving office due to term limits.

Gorbea congratulated Amore on his “decisive victory” and wished him “great success” over the next four years.

“Secretary-elect Amore’s decades of experience teaching social studies and history in East Providence High School, his record of public service as a state representative and his demonstrated commitment to equity and inclusiveness will make it easy for him to build on the work that we have done at the Department of State over the past eight years,” Gorbea said. “At a time when our country is under attack from enemies foreign and domestic, I know that Secretary-elect Amore will be a fierce defender of our democracy.”

Amore defeated Republican Pat Cortellessa, who lives in Cranston and works in security.