PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – A special election to replace state Rep.-elect Laufton Ascencao, who resigned last week after admitting he forged a campaign invoice, will be held over the winter.
The secretary of state’s office said Bristol and Warren voters who live in House District 68, which Ascencao won on Nov. 6, will choose his successor on March 5. If a primary is necessary to winnow the candidates, it will be held on Feb. 5.
Ascencao was urged to step aside by the Warren Democratic Town Committee after its leaders discovered he had lied to them about sending a promised campaign mailer. The 25-year-old Democrat and progressive activist would have succeeded state Rep. Ken Marshall, who declined to seek re-election after irregularities in his campaign-finance reports came to light.
Candidates are already lining up to run for the seat, including Bristol Town Councilman Andrew Tyska, a Democrat who lost to Ascencao in last September’s primary; Libertarian Bill Hunt, who lost to Ascencao in the November election; Bristol Town Council President Timothy Sweeney, a Democrat; former Barrington Town Councilwoman June Speakman, a Democrat who now lives in Warren; and Warren Town Council President Joseph DePasquale, an independent.
The secretary of state’s office set the following deadlines for the special election.
• Dec 28: Candidate declarations due.
• Dec. 31: Party endorsements due.
• Jan. 6: Deadline to register to vote in the special primary election.
• Jan. 8: Candidates’ nomination papers due.
• Jan. 15: Deadline to vote by mail for the special primary election.
• Feb. 3: Deadline to register to vote in the special general election.
• Feb. 5: Special primary election (if necessary).
• Feb. 12: Deadline to vote by mail for the special general election
• March 5: Special election.