PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Former state Supreme Court Justice Robert Flanders has won the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate, Eyewitness News projects.
Flanders defeated Roque De La Fuente, an eccentric businessman for who also ran for Senate in eight other states this year.
A former minor league baseball player, Flanders has worked as a private attorney since leaving the bench and was appointed the receiver of Central Falls, which ultimately filed for bankruptcy in 2011. He also chaired the state Board of Regents for Elementary and Secondary Education, which is now known as the R.I. Board of Education.
Flanders will face incumbent Democratic Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse in the general election Nov. 6.
“Thank you to the Rhode Island voters who have supported my campaign,” Flanders said in a statement. “The momentum we brought to tonight’s resounding victory will only increase as we head towards the General Election on November 6.
“Rhode Islanders are ready for change and new leadership,” he continued. “Hyper-partisan obstructionist Sen. Whitehouse has failed hard-working Rhode Island families for twelve years. Rhode Island needs a fierce advocate for the critical issues that matter in our everyday lives: lower prescription drug prices and more affordable health care; infrastructure investment for our crumbling roads and bridges; reforming a failing education system; an advocate for jobs that supports small business; fixing a broken immigration system; and stopping the opioid crisis. I will work as a bipartisan problem-solver to do what’s right for Rhode Island, not what’s right for politics.
“The voters of Rhode Island sent a strong message tonight and Washington needs to hear it loud and clear,” Flanders added. “Today, nearly a quarter of Rhode Island Democrats—26,250 voters— declared they have had enough of Sen. Whitehouse. To the Democratic and Independent voters of Rhode Island, I say tonight, I’ve heard you loud and clear. I will be your champion. Rhode Island deserves a better U.S. Senator, and we will get one come November.”