PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Gov. Dan McKee on Thursday released a list of 10 finalists seeking to become the next lieutenant governor of Rhode Island, with a final decision expected to be made within a month.
The group comprises current and former elected officials, along with two community members who are actively engaged in politics and government.
- Maria Bucci
- John Partridge
- Senator Lou DiPalma
- James Diossa
- Elizabeth Beretta-Perik
- Rep. Anastasia Williams
- Councilwoman Sabina Matos
- Rep. Grace Diaz
- Joanne Giannini
- Rep. Bob Phillips
The finalists were culled from about 60 people who were interviewed for the the state’s No. 2 job. More than 80 people initially applied for the position and McKee put together a team to interview anyone who wanted one. McKee, who vacated the lieutenant governor’s position after ascending to the state’s top job earlier this month, is expected to interview the finalists personally.
McKee’s decision to release the names of finalists comes one day after a spokesperson had indicated the governor wouldn’t be offering any more updates until he made a final decision.
State House insiders believe the top contenders include Matos, president of the Providence City Council; Diossa, the former mayor of Central Falls; Beretta-Perik, treasurer of the R.I. Democratic Party; and DiPalma, a veteran state senator. However, people close to McKee have cautioned that the situation is fluid.
The other contenders include former Cranston City Councilor Maria Bucci, who was unsuccessful as the Democratic nominee for Cranston mayor last year, along with well-known Providence attorney John Partridge. Other state lawmakers include Reps. Anastasia Williams, Grace Diaz and Bob Phillips, along with former Rep. Joanne Giannini.
McKee is expected to make a final decision within 30 days, his aides said Wednesday. The nominee will need to be confirmed by the state Senate. If approved, the new lieutenant governor will serve out the remainder of McKee’s unfinished term, which expires at the end of 2022.
Ted Nesi contributed to this story.