WARWICK, R.I. (WPRI) — After losing to Cranston Mayor Allan Fung in the Republican primary for Rhode Island governor last month, Rep. Patricia Morgan is throwing her weight behind Republican-turned-independent candidate Joe Trillo.
Within hours, Morgan’s colleagues in the House Republican Caucus announced via email they had voted to remove her as House minority leader, effective immediately, though the email didn’t reference the endorsement specifically. The announcement, circulated by Rep. Blake Filippi, said the minority leader post will remain vacant until after the November election.
Trillo announced the endorsement at an event Thursday.
“For years we fought alongside each other in the General Assembly, fighting to improve the lives of all Rhode Islanders and end far-reaching governmental abuses,” Trillo said of Morgan in a statement. “Patricia is formidable leader who has shown unwavering strength and resilience throughout the entirety of her career. She refuses to back down, and always stands up for what is right.”
“With Patricia’s support I believe that we can reach across party lines and bring people together,” he added.
Trillo and Fung will face off against incumbent Democratic Gov. Gina Raimondo in November, along with Moderate Party nominee Bill Gilbert, independent Compassion Party candidate Anne Armstrong and independent Luis Daniel Muñoz.
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Trillo said Morgan hasn’t committed to a position within his administration if he’s elected but he announced that three noteworthy Republicans who agreed to join Morgan’s team if she was elected have signed onto the Trillo camp: former Attorney General Arlene Violet and former GOP gubernatorial candidates Ken Block and John Robitaille.
.@TrilloforGov says conservative Democrats don’t want @GinaRaimondo but can support an independent and believes he can take more votes from Raimondo over votes from @MayorFung. pic.twitter.com/lBth94jbOf— Anita Baffoni (@AnitaBaffoni) October 4, 2018
Morgan on Thursday said she got a call from Fung seeking an endorsement after the primary but it “didn’t go well.”
She said Trillo will be the “small business governor” the state needs, asserting that he will take care of hardworking Rhode Islanders.