Political Winds

Posted 8/12/20

Bucci, Stycos tout environmental group endorsements The Democratic candidates for mayor are touting new endorsements this week, with statewide environmental organizations weighing in on the race in the final stretch before the Sept. 8 primary. Maria

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Political Winds


Bucci, Stycos tout environmental group endorsements

The Democratic candidates for mayor are touting new endorsements this week, with statewide environmental organizations weighing in on the race in the final stretch before the Sept. 8 primary.

Maria Bucci, a former Ward 4 City Council member, has received the backing of Clean Water Action, which recently announced its first round of candidate endorsements. Bucci is the only municipal candidate on the list, which includes a number of hopefuls for General Assembly seats.

“One of the largest long-term challenges that we face as a state is the climate crisis,” Johnathan Berard, Clean Water Action’s Rhode Island state director, said in a statement. “The economic, social, and environmental well-being of all Rhode Island residents will depend on our ability to quickly and meaningfully address this challenge head-on … The need for elected officials who understand that we need to pass immediate, strong, and equitable measures to address the climate crisis, protect our natural resources, and address public health disparities has never been more urgent.”

Citywide Councilman Stycos, meanwhile, has received the endorsement of two organizations – the Rhode Island Progressive Democrats of America and the Sierra Club.

Both the Sierra Club and the Progressive Democrats specifically pointed to Stycos’s backing of a $5 million “climate bond” question that is set to appear on the November general election ballot. That would provide funding for renewable energy and energy efficiency projects at city buildings.

Stycos, in accepting the Progressive Democrats’ endorsement, expressed his own backing of the group’s renewable energy “blueprint” for Cranston.

“I’m pleased to receive the endorsement of the Progressive Democrats, and I enthusiastically support their idea for locally based renewable energy to power Cranston,” Stycos said in a social media video.

The Sierra Club issued the following statement: “Our Political Committee traditionally does not involve itself in municipal elections, but in these unprecedented times it is imperative to support responsible, ethical, justice focused candidates at every level. The city of Cranston, as Rhode Island’s second largest city, is hugely important in our struggles for environmental justice throughout Rhode Island … We believe Steve Stycos is the candidate for Mayor of Cranston most closely aligned with our mission, and Steve understands that the climate crisis isn’t some far-off abstract threat, but something we must deal with now.”

Zelazo backs Bucci; Marino backs Stycos

Democrat candidates for citywide seats on the City Council have also announced mayoral endorsements this week.

Dylan Zelazo announced his endorsement of Maria Bucci in a statement Tuesday.

“Maria Bucci has the right vision and is the person to build Cranston’s future,” Zelazo said in the statement. “I am endorsing Maria because she has run a successful private sector business. She knows how to deliver for the community while maintaining fiscal discipline. She brings an ideal combination of perspectives to the table as a former City Councilor, a successful businesswoman, a loving mother, and a strong advocate for public education and quality of life in our city.”

“I am honored to have Dylan Zelazo’s endorsement,” Bucci said in the statement. “I want everyone in Cranston to have confidence that the city will work for them. Our children need to be educated in safe school buildings. They must have access to the best education in the state. I am committed to making sure that our city remains the best place to live, work, and raise a family in Rhode Island.”

Jessica Marino, meanwhile, announced Tuesday that she is supporting Stycos.

“Many times over the years, I have witnessed Steve approach residents appearing before the City Council and work with them to help find a solution. He exemplifies the admirable qualities of integrity, humility, intellect, and sacrifice for the greater good. I respect and admire his long-term investment in our beloved community of Cranston, whether on the school committee, City Council, or in his every day efforts of simply being a person of his word with dedication and commitment to our community,” Marino said in a statement. “There is no question that Steve has the proven experience specific to Cranston that is needed to lead a fiscally responsible, transparent, and accountable government that its residents deserve.”

Zelazo and Marino are part of their own primary race. Four Democrats – Zelazo, Marino, School Committee member Paul Archetto and Larry Warner – are vying for the three Democratic slots on the November general election ballot. Archetto, Warner and Zelazo have received the Democratic City Committee’s endorsement.

Firefighters back Archetto

IAFF Local 1363, the union representing the city’s firefighters, has endorsed Archetto’s candidacy for a citywide seat on the City Council.

The union previously announced its endorsement of City Council President Michael Farina, a Republican, in the race for mayor. Archetto, who currently represents Ward 3 on the School Committee, has previously served on the City Council and as a member of the General Assembly.

“I am incredibly honored to have earned the support of our local firefighters. Over my tenure as Councilman for Ward 3 I have worked extremely hard to make sure our citizens are safe. While on the council, I strived to make sure our Fire Department was fiscally prudent, had the equipment and training that kept the men and women of our fire service safe, and advocated for a 5th rescue in Ward 3 to better serve the needs of our growing City. Their endorsement sends a strong signal to our city,” Archetto said in a statement.

“We have a twofold priority for Cranston Firefighters; to provide excellent service to the citizens of Cranston and the visitors to our city; and to protect the health and safety of our members. While a long time Ward 3 Councilman, Citywide candidate, Paul Archetto, has always been an advocate for the citizens of Cranston, but also a staunch advocate to make sure the men and women of the Cranston Fire Department are safe and well trained. We believe he makes a great candidate due to his experience on the council and his experience with City and Fire Department budgets. He has the ability to find innovative ways to stay fiscally sound without jeopardizing citizen or firefighter safety in the wake of the Pandemic. and we are honored to stand with someone who believes public safety is a priority for continued growth for our City,” Scott Robinson, Local 1363’s president, said in the statement.

Eat Drink RI to host forum with Langevin, Conley

U.S. Rep. Jim Langevin and his Democratic primary challenger, Dylan Conley, will take part in a virtual forum hosted by the organization East Drink RI on Aug. 13.

The event begins at 7 p.m. and will be streamed live on the Eat Drink RI Facebook page. Questions may be submitted via email at -- Daniel Kittredge

Political Winds is a semi-regular feature focused on the 2020 election campaign. Candidates or those with political news may contact Daniel Kittredge, editor, at 732-3100, ext. 234, or

Cranston, politics


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