PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — The confirmation process for Rhode Island’s next lieutenant governor begins Thursday afternoon for Providence City Council President Sabina Matos.
The Senate Judiciary Committee officially received Matos’ nomination Monday and scheduled the confirmation hearing at 3 p.m.
Gov. Dan McKee nominated Matos as his pick to succeed him as lieutenant governor last week.
Matos, a Democrat, is slated to become the first person of color and second woman to serve as the state’s second-in-command.
A spokesperson for the Senate said they hope to fill the vacancy quickly, since they have a scheduled recess beginning April 19.
During Matos’ nomination announcement, she said if confirmed, she will work tirelessly for Rhode Islanders.
“As the first Afro-Latina woman nominated to this post, I’m grateful to the governor’s commitment to diversity and inclusion,” she said. “I look forward to working with him to further that vision for all Rhode Islanders upon my confirmation.”
She also said her top priorities include battling the pandemic, affordable housing and helping small businesses, among others.
“I share the governor’s commitment to getting as many Rhode Islanders vaccinated as quickly as possible,” she explained. “And as the governor has said, we must continue to step up our effort, and to make sure vaccines are reaching our communities of color,”
Matos, 47, was born in the Dominican Republic and moved to the United States in 1994. She went on to graduate from Rhode Island College, and was first elected to the Providence City Council in 2010. She represents Ward 15, which includes the neighborhoods of Olneyville, Silver Lake and Valley.
In 2015, she became the first Latina elected to serve as the City Council’s president pro tempore. Four years later, she became the first Latina ever elected as the council’s president.
If confirmed, Matos would resign from that role and a special election would be held to fill her ward seat.