PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Joy Fox, a former top staffer to Congressman Jim Langevin and Gov. Gina Raimondo, announced Monday that she will enter the Democratic primary to succeed Langevin in the 2nd Congressional District.

“I’m in,” Fox tweeted. She added, “I love my community. We need a representative in Congress who knows the district and is willing to fight for every family. We need to get past the pandemic and back to school and work. My family is counting on that and I believe most families in the district are as well.”

Fox, a 44-year-old Warwick resident, is the fourth Democrat to officially announce a bid for the 2nd District seat, joining General Treasurer Seth Magaziner, former state Rep. Ed Pacheco, and Refugee Dream Center founder Omar Bah. A number of other Democrats have said they are still considering getting into the primary, as well.

Fox is a first-time candidate but has a long history working behind the scenes in Rhode Island politics — including five years working for Langevin in the 2nd District, serving as his deputy district director for communications and community outreach.

After leaving Langevin’s office, Fox was in charge of communications for Gina Raimondo, first as treasurer and then as governor, from 2011 to 2016. Earlier in her career she worked for the R.I. Department of Corrections, and before that as a reporter.

In an interview, Fox said she had been surprised by Langevin’s decision to retire, and said it had been “a whirlwind” two weeks as she considered the possibility of a bid to succeed him.

“The more I talked to family and friends, what it comes down to is I just love where I live,” she said, adding that she plans to provide more policy specifics in the coming days when she formally kicks off her campaign.

She said she spoke to Langevin to inform him about her decision, though she declined to discuss specifics about their conversation. “I did reach out to my former boss,” she said. “I wanted him to hear it from me. He’s wonderful — he’s been a great congressman, and it was a good conversation.”

Fox is also the first woman to enter the 2nd District primary, and agreed with other Democrats who have expressed concern about a lack of female candidates stepping forward so far.

“There’s only been one woman to represent this district, and that’s not acceptable,” Fox said, referencing Republican Claudine Schneider, who held the seat in the 1980s. “But really what’s driving this is, I love my community and I do think I am the best person to represent them in Congress.”

Fox currently serves as CEO of the Clarendon Group, the communications firm founded by Christine Heenan, and is on the board of Sophia Academy, an independent nonprofit middle school in Providence for low-income girls.

Appearing on last week’s taping of Newsmakers, Langevin left the door open to endorsing one of the Democrats seeking to succeed him, but said it’s too early to decide. “I’ll be thinking about that as I see the candidates emerge and watch how they debate and the platforms they put forward,” he said. “It certainly is a distinct possibility that I would endorse, but I haven’t made that decision yet.”

Republicans have expressed optimism that the current political climate could allow them to win the 2nd District seat in November, which would be the GOP’s first victory in a U.S. House race in Rhode Island since 1992.

Former state Rep. Bob Lancia and current state Sen. Jessica de la Cruz have both entered the Republican primary, and former Cranston Mayor Allan Fung has begun speaking to consultants as he weighs a bid.

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