PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — One of Rhode Island’s longest-serving state lawmakers is stepping aside.
Senate Minority Leader Dennis Algiere, a Westerly Republican, will not seek re-election in November, according to a statement issued by the state GOP.
“He set the foundation for senate Republicans and has led the caucus tirelessly,” the Republican Party said in an unsigned statement. “We wish him the best in this next chapter of his life and look forward to electing senators that share the same vision for a better Rhode Island.”
Algiere was first elected in 1992, and has led the Senate’s Republican caucus since 1997. The 61-year-old is viewed as a political moderate, and has had a cordial working relationship with State House Democrats through the years.
Only two sitting senators have served in the chamber longer than Algiere, both Democrats: Senate President Dominick Ruggerio, first elected in 1984, and Senate Majority Whip Maryellen Goodwin, first elected in 1986.
“Statesmen like Dennis Algiere are rare in today’s politically charged atmosphere,” Ruggerio said in a statement.
“With dignity and class, Dennis has always advocated unflinchingly for his community and for our state,” he continued. “His ability to build bridges and find common ground with people from across the ideological spectrum has made him an uncommonly effective legislator. I am proud to call him a friend. He will be sorely missed in the Senate Chamber.”
Algiere is currently one of five Republicans in the 38-member Senate, along with Minority Whip Jessica de la Cruz, Deputy Minority Leader Thomas Paolino, Deputy Minority Whip Elaine Morgan, and Sen. Gordon Rogers.
Algiere represents Senate District 38 in Westerly, Charlestown and South Kingstown. While he hasn’t faced a Democratic opponent in a number of years, the party is likely to try and flip the seat this fall — Joe Biden won every precinct in Algiere’s district in 2020, according to the R.I. Board of Elections.
At least one Democrat, Michael Niemeyer, has already filed to run in District 38 this year.
Ted Nesi (firstname.lastname@example.org) 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
Based on information from the Board of Elections, an earlier version of this article incorrectly said no candidates had filed yet in District 38.