CRANSTON, R.I. (WPRI) — Another veteran state lawmaker has decided not to seek re-election after all.
State Rep. Robert Jacquard, D-Cranston, confirmed Monday morning he will retire rather than seek another term in House District 17 despite filing a declaration of candidacy last week. He said he needed a few extra days to decide for sure.
“It wasn’t an easy decision, because I really like being in the General Assembly,” Jacquard told WPRI 12. “In my gut, I knew it was the right thing to do.”
“I talked to my German Shepherd Sophie and she said she wanted to spend more time with me,” he added, laughing.
Jacquard said he is supporting the other Democrat who pulled papers, Jacquelyn Baginski, who is his neighbor. She has worked as finance director for House Majority Leader Joe Shekarchi and also raised campaign money for Gov. Gina Raimondo.
Baginski told Jacquard two years ago that she would be interested in running for his seat if he ever decided to retire, he said. “At the beginning of June, I was out riding my bike, saw her in her yard, said hi, and said, ‘Are you still interested?’ And she said yes,” he recalled.
First elected in 1992, Jacquard is a 62-year-old lawyer and currently chairman of the House Corporations Committee. He is the second veteran lawmaker to choose retirement since last Wednesday’s filing deadline, along with state Rep. Stephen Ucci, D-Johnston.
Ted Nesi (firstname.lastname@example.org) is WPRI 12’s politics and business editor and a Target 12 investigative reporter. He is a weekly panelist on Newsmakers and hosts Executive Suite. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook