By: Cory Pacheco
On August 22nd, 2017, Newport and Jamestown voters have the opportunity to replace Senator Teresa Paiva-Weed after the abdication of her seat earlier this year. On the left, out of 11,550 potential voters, only 1,287 Newport and Jamestown residents went to the polls to select Dawn Euer as the Democratic candidate. On the Republican side, small-business owner Mike Smith of Newport declared his candidacy a few months ago.
Mike Smith is the father of four children, ranging from the kindergarten to collegiate age, the proud husband of Sarah Smith, and a local small business owner. His tireless work to create a prosperous environment for his family throughout his life has driven him to run for the recently vacated state senate seat because of his fear for our state’s small business climate, the future of his children, and his dedication to a greater future for all Newport and Jamestown residents.
At the current rate, 7 out of 10 students graduating from one of our collegiate institutions will leave the state in order to find better employment opportunities. For Mike, this issue really hits home because, at this rate, 3 out of 4 of his children will depart the state to find greener pastures, and for good reason because Rhode Island is currently ranked 50th for business growth in the United States of America. The crippling policies of our governor, as well as the incumbent assembly, have devastated the small-business industry while forming a “Keep Out” sign for students across the nation looking to build careers in Rhode Island. For this reason, this isn’t Mike’s first run for public office; Mike previously ran against Teresa Paiva-Weed in 2014, earning the trust and support of 45% of Newport and Jamestown voters.
But Mike didn’t quit there, and his persistence and genuine passion to create a better environment for Newport and Jamestown residents have earned the support of many volunteers ranging from college kids to senior citizens across the state of Rhode Island. Many of these people have been seen knocking doors and handing out flyers for the past few months in Newport, getting to know his constituents and hearing their opinions on the various issues throughout the area. In Newport, student averages in all three areas of the SAT, PARCC, and NECAP lag far behind statewide averages, as well as costing the town $4,000 more per pupil than the statewide average. In Jamestown, the SAT scores fair similarly, which is yet another reason Mike believes it’s time for a change in leadership for the citizens of the area.
In Mike Smith, Newport and Jamestown residents know that by voting for Mike, they are represented by one of their own; someone who has a genuine care for the improvement of the area, as well as a small businessman that has been affected like each of his constituents by the strangling progressive policies implemented by the current assembly and administration. For these reasons, as well as a strong character that places family values above all, Mike’s campaign has attracted small donations and tons of volunteers; however, the intentions of his opponent are unclear.
In Dawn Euer, residents see a successful Providence lawyer, most famous for her role in advancing social issues. What local Newport and Jamestown people don’t know is that Dawn’s campaign has been fueled by multiple out-state-donations, including a substantial contribution from Planned Parenthood. The problem with this is that these large donations have a huge impact in spreading literature across the area, yet they have absolutely no idea the daily issues the local residents cope with. Dawn is propped up by people who don’t know and likely don’t care about the issues their constituents face, while Mike Smith is in the trenches, listening to and dealing with the same issues everyone in Newport and Jamestown faces.
By voting for Mike Smith, people have seen what they will get if elected to the State Senate; a father dedicated to providing a better future for his children, as well as those across the area. With Dawn Euer, voters must decide whether their vote will be used to better their future, or if it will be a vote to continue the damaging policies of the progressive Raimondo administration, filled with false hope and promises for all Rhode Island residents.