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McKee expects to interview nearly a dozen finalists for lieutenant gov.

Politics - Government

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Gov. Dan McKee and his advisers plan to select nearly a dozen finalists from the pool of applicants who want to be Rhode Island’s next lieutenant governor before he makes a final selection, his office said Wednesday.

Andrea Palagi, McKee’s spokesperson, shared the next steps one day after announcing the names of 60 applicants who had completed interviews with the governor’s vetting team. Those conversations are taking place at the Providence offices of CFO Compliance, a prominent campaign-finance firm.

Following an inquiry from Target 12, Palagi acknowledged that the governor’s office failed to disclose the names of three additional applicants who were interviewed — Jake Hall, Kyle McCurdy and Michael Riley — when a list was released Tuesday.

“I just checked in on this with the staff member who is overseeing the process – an error was made in compiling the list,” she said.

State House insiders believe the top contenders include Providence City Council President Sabina Matos, former Central Falls Mayor James Diossa, R.I. Democratic Party Treasurer Liz Beretta-Perik and state Sen. Lou DiPalma. But people close to McKee have cautioned that the situation is fluid.

“Everyone was offered an initial interview. We expect that about 10 individuals will receive a second interview,” Palagi said. “From there, several individuals will have an interview with the governor. As the governor mentioned last week, we expect a final decision to be made within 30 days. We will provide our next update at that time.”

According to McKee’s office, the interviews for lieutenant governor were done on behalf of the governor by the following individuals: Tony Afonso, Channavy Chhay, Dr. Catarina DaSilva, Brad Dean, Rosa DeCastillo, Erin Donovan Boyle, Brendan Doherty, Craig Dwyer, Chris Farrell, Paulette Hamilton, Bill Murray, Jennifer Ortiz, Joe Polisena, Armand Sabitoni and Kristin Urbach.

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, Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram

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