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Monday, December 7, 2020

VIDEO: Regunberg announces second run for Lieutenant Governor in 2022

Social justice activist was Charlestown favorite in 2018

By Will Collette

Former state representative Aaron Regunberg announced his intent to run a second campaign for state Lieutenant Governor. Aaron narrowly lost to incumbent Dan McKee in 2018 by a margin of only 2.2% (2,466 votes). 

His strong positions on social and economic justice won him the enthusiastic support of the Charlestown Democratic Town Committee which translated in Aaron’s win at the polls in Charlestown by more than 10%. 

McKee is term-limited and cannot run for re-election. At this point, we do not know whether Aaron will have a primary or general election challenger. 

McKee is expected to join a very crowded field of candidates to replace term-limited Gov. Gina Raimondo. Indeed, every Rhode Island General Officer (except Attorney General Peter Neronha) is term-limited out of office in 2018. 

Aaron’s campaign issued this statement on Aaron’s behalf: 

I am exploring another run for Rhode Island Lieutenant Governor in 2022.

Two years ago we launched a campaign to transform that under-utilized office into a public advocate to make state government work for you. Together, we won 49% of the vote against a well-funded incumbent, showing that Rhode Islanders are ready to stand up for bold change.

We need that change today more than ever.

The pandemic has inflicted so much loss in our communities. Lost loved ones. Lost income. Our kids are struggling. Healthcare and housing costs are going up, and countless Rhode Islanders -- who've always been essential -- are underpaid and unprotected. Yet our government still isn't doing enough to help families make it through.

I ran for Lieutenant Governor in 2018 because, after years organizing youth for education justice, and two terms in the General Assembly, I'd seen that real change was possible. Together, we won paid sick days, raised the minimum wage, and took on National Grid to protect clean energy and consumers.

But we've also seen how rigged our system is for the wealthy and well-connected. How loud regular people have to shout just to be heard.

It doesn't have to be like this. In our past, Rhode Islanders came together to win religious freedom, workplace protections, and so much more. We need that same kind of action today, to get through this crisis and build something better on the other side -- a state that puts people first. We can raise wages for our essential workers. We can create thousands of good-paying jobs fighting climate change here in Rhode Island. We can prioritize education and healthcare and housing over corporate giveaways and tax cuts for the rich. And we can rewrite the State House rules so that all of us have a fair shot.

To help realize that vision, I still believe we can turn the Lieutenant Governor's office into something our state actually needs: a Public Advocate. A tool to help our communities hold state government accountable, and a home for issues that matter to all of us -- worker's rights, climate justice, healthcare, and government reform. We almost got there two years ago, with thousands of volunteers and grassroots donors all across our state. And I know that this time, together, we can get the job done.

That's why I'm asking you to join us.

To tell you the truth, I much prefer sending emails with organizing and fundraising asks for other candidates and fights. But if we're going to run a campaign for bold change, we'll need the resources to organize statewide.

If you support our vision -- of putting the Lieutenant Governor's office to work fighting to change the way business gets done in the State House -- will you make a contribution so we can start building a winning campaign today?

I remain eternally grateful to the thousands of friends and neighbors who made our last campaign possible. And I'm so excited to stand with you again as we take this first step on our next challenge.

These are dark times. But a better future is possible. We just need to stand up and fight for it.