Rhode Island Democratic Party
|Rhode Island Democratic Party|
|Chairman||Edwin R. Pacheco|
|National affiliation||Democratic Party|
The Rhode Island Democratic Party is the affiliate of the Democratic Party in the state of Rhode Island. Edwin R. Pacheco is the chairman of the Party. For the past five decades, the Democratic Party has dominated politics in Rhode Island. The article further discusses the Democratic Party's dominance in Rhode Island politics as well as the elected officials, party leadership and staff, past election results, legislation, and also issue stance.
Democratic Party dominance in Rhode Island 
For nearly five decades, Rhode Island has been one of the nation's most solidly Democratic states. Since 1928, it has voted for the Republican presidential candidate only four times. Also, has elected only one Republican (former Governor John H. Chafee) to the U.S. Senate since 1934, sent no Republicans to the U.S. House from 1940 until 1980, when one Republican and one Democrat were elected. Also in 1980, Rhode Island was one of only six states to favor Jimmy Carter. However, in 1984, Republican Edward DiPrete was elected governor and Ronald Reagan narrowly carried the state in the presidential election. In the 2000 presidential election, Democrat Al Gore won 61% of the popular vote. Although, an analysis of Gallup polling data shows the Democratic advantage over the Republican Party in Rhode Island voters has plunged over the last two years. The Democratic advantage over the Republican Party in Rhode Island slid from 37 percentage points in 2008 to 16 points this year, according to Gallup. Rhode Island has gone from being the most Democratic state in the country in 2008 to the 7th most Democratic now.
Chairman Edwin R. Pacheco 
Chairman Edwin Pacheco has been in public office since 2001, when he was elected to fulfill an unexpired term for the Burrillville School Committee. In 2002, he was elected Vice Chairman of the committee, and later became Chairman of the committee.
In 2004, Chairman Pacheco ran for the District 47 seat in the Rhode Island House of Representatives. He won both the Democratic primary and general election, becoming one of the youngest state representatives in the history of Rhode Island.
During his years on both the Burrillvile School Committee and as a State Representative, Pacheco focused on bettering education, healthcare, and the economy. Pachecho introduced legislation that was focused on campaign finance reform, voters rights, health care reform, and job creation. He was elected Chairman of the Rhode Island Democratic Committee on April 30, 2010.
On April 22, 2013, Chairman Pacheco served notice of his intention to resign as State Party Chairman effective May 3, 2013 to run for Secretary of State in Rhode Island.
Elected officials 
Members of Congress 
U.S. Senate 
U.S. House of Representatives 
Statewide offices 
- Governor: Lincoln Chafee
- Lieutenant Governor: Elizabeth H. Roberts
- Secretary of State: A. Ralph Mollis
- Attorney General: Peter Kilmartin
- General Treasurer: Gina Raimondo
State Legislature 
- President of the Senate: M. Teresa Paiva-Weed
- Speaker of the House: Gordon D. Fox
- House Majority Leader: Nicholas Mattiello
Party leadership and staff 
The Rhode Island Democratic Party leadership as of 2011 is as follows.
State committee officers 
- Chairman: Edwin Pacheco
- Vice Chairman: Rep. Grace Diaz
- 2nd Vice Chairman: Joseph DeLorenzo
- 3rd Vice Chairman: Rep. Elaine Coderre
- Secretary: Rep. Arthur Corvese
- Corresponding Secretary: Allene Maynard
- Recording Secretary: Milton Bronstein
- Treasurer: Jeff Padwa
- Assistant Treasurer: Marcia Reback
National Committee Persons 
- National Committeeman: Frank Montanaro Sr.
- National Committeewomen: Edna O'Neill Mattson
- Interim Executive Director: Jonathan Boucher
- Field Organizer and Constituency Coordinator: Blake Collins
Previous election results 
2008 general election 
Senator in Congress 
- John F. Reed (Dem) 73.4%
- Robert G. Tingle (Rep) 26.6%
Representative in Congress District 1 
- Patrick J. Kennedy (Dem) 68.6%
- Jonathon P. Scott (Rep) 24.3%
Representative in Congress District 2 
- James R. Langevin (Dem) 70.1%
- Mark S. Zaccaria (Rep) 29.9%
2004 general election 
Representative in Congress District 1 
- Patrick J. Kennedy (Dem) 64.1%
- David W. Rogers (Rep) 35.8%
Representative in Congress District 2 
- James R. Langevin (Dem) 74.5%
- Arthur Chuck Barton III (Rep) 20.8%
Voter I.D. Law 
In July 2011, the Rhode Island Legislature, which is composed mostly of Democrats, signed a voter I.D. law. A number of states this year have passed similar voter I.D. laws, all which were backed by Republicans. Rhode Island state Representative Jon Brein, the Democratic sponsor of the legislation, stated "I think that party leaders have tried to make this a Republican versus Democrat issue. It's not. It's simply a good government issue. We as representatives have a duty to the citizenry to ensure the integrity of our elections, and the requirement to show an I.D. will ensure that integrity. " Rhode Island Democrat Senator Harold Metts who sponsored the voter I.D. legislation in the state senate said, "As a minority citizen and a senior citizen I would not support anything that I thought would present obstacles or limit protections."
Pension reform 
On November 17, 2011, the Rhode Island General Assembly approved legislation that focused on stabilizing the state's pension fund to protect against large increases in taxpayer contribution expected in the years to come. The Rhode Island Retirement Securirty Act passed the House on a vote of 57 to 15, and the Senate with a 35 to 2 vote. The legislation reduces the state's unfunded liability of nearly $7.3 billion to $4.3 billion, a $3 billion reduction.
The legislation was introduced by Speaker of the House Gordon D. Fox and President of Senate M. Teresa Paiva Weed.
On the pension reform, Speaker of the House Gordon Fox stated: "The reforms we enacted simply could not wait any longer. The unfunded liability of our pension system has spiraled to new depths in recent years, and without these changes, would grow even more dramatically in the very immediate future." Speaker Fox also stated that the legislation "balances the costs and risks between employees and the state and protects the fiscal integrity of the retirement system, the state and the municipalities." Senate President Paiva Weed said, "Passage of this critical piece of legislation ensures that resources will be available to invest in education, infrastructure, and our human services safety net, while protecting the pensions of the future. I believe that we have achieved reforms that are fair to employees, affordable to taxpayers, legally defensible and sustainable over the long-term.",
Marriage equality 
On March 24, 2011, Rhode Island Democratic Party Chairman Ed Pacheco issued the following statement reiterating his support of marriage equality in the State of Rhode Island:
- “I have always felt, regardless of sexual orientation or identity, that all Americans are entitled to the full protection, benefits and resources of marriage under law. More so than that, all couples who choose to enter into the union of marriage, deserve to honor their love and commitment to each other, to their families and to the communities in which they live with the full institution and benefits of marriage.
- “To deny any individual the rights and privileges of marriage based on their sexual orientation is to deny them the dignity, fairness and freedom to live their lives fully and free from anxiety – anxiety that can be avoided by ensuring marriage equality in Rhode Island. Anything less is less than equal. We take great pride in the protection of freedoms in this country and it is time for Rhode Island to stand up for our neighbors, co-workers, friends, and family in the LGBT community and pass marriage equality legislation. It’s just time.”
Democratic Senator Jack Reed on abortion:
- March, 2009 - Voted NO on restricting UN funding for population control policies. This bill required that amounts appropriated for the United Nations Population Fund are not used by organizations which support coercive abortion or involuntary sterilization.
- July, 2006 - Voted NO on notifying parents of minors who get out-of-state abortions. This bill authorized any parent to sue unless such parent committed an act of incest. Imposed a fine and/or prison term of up to one year to any physician in violation.
- March, 2005 - Voted YES on $100M to reduce teen pregnancy by education and contraceptives. A YES vote was for expanded access to preventive health care services that reduced un-planned pregnancy, reduce the number of abortions, and approve access to women's health care.
Democratic Congressman David Cicilline on abortion:
- "Women not only deserve equal pay for equal work, protection from violence, including family violence, but also the right to full reproductive freedom. I fiercely protect a women's right to make health care decisions, free from government intrusion and interference."
Democratic Congressman David Cicilline on education:
- "Every child has the right to a high-quality, public education. Access to good education is the single most effective way to give our young people the opportunity to realize their full potential and to become fully contributing members of society. I believe strongly that we must do everything possible to provide students with strong public schools that prepare them to begin a career or to pursue higher education."
- "RI Democratic Party: Party Leadership and Staff". Rhode Island Democratic Party. Retrieved October 25, 2011.