After allegations surfaced that he had misled a group of Warren Town Council candidates about campaign expenditures, Representative-elect Laufton Ascencao vacated his would-be house seat prior to be sworn in. On March 5th, a special election will be held for the vacated HD-68 seat, pitting Democrat June Speakman, independent Ken Marshall, Libertarian William Hunt and independent James R. McCanna III against each other.
Identical questionnaires were delivered to each of the four candidates, the answers to which will be published on 990wbob.com to help voters within the district choose the candidate that will be the best representation of the area.
Ken Marshall, an Independent, is hoping to be the next representative from his community.
Bill Bartholomew: If elected, what are some the specific ways you would work to make elections and state government more open and accountable?
Ken Marshall: If elected to continue to fulfill the term remaining for District 68, I intend to work towards re-writing some campaign finance laws and ethics laws to help expose those that are manipulating our systems by hiding in the shadows. In addition, I would support additional resources for the Board of Elections so that they have the capability to do auditing of accounts for checks and balances.
BB: What are some of the key issues that you believe can forge inter-party and intra-party coalitions within the House, and what are your positions on those issues?
KM: Key issues that are capable of inter-party and intra-party coalitions would be legislation that mandates the laws, and that budgets we pass are followed by our elected administration. Investments in our seniors, veterans, infrastructure, and education, as well as working towards a plan to buy down our out years with structural deficits would be areas of mutual interest.
BB: Would you identify yourself as someone likely to be a part of “The Reform Caucus?” Do you believe that power should be less consolidated within the General Assembly?
KM: I am not someone who considers myself part of a caucus. I consider myself part of an elected body working together with my colleagues on all sides of the aisle for the betterment of my district and our state. Caucuses divide and weaken the body, and take our eyes and energies off the issues that affect everyone. “Reform Caucus” is nothing more than a publicity and ambition stunt to sully those that don’t agree with them. Instead of already presuming what a colleague is before meeting them and getting to know them, I think they and their districts would be better served if they introduced themselves prior to passing judgement on someone who is elected to serve over the next two years.
BB: What makes you uniquely qualified to serve HD 68 in the House?
KM: I have served my community as a Zoning Board member for five years, then a Councilman for ten years- with six of those years as Chairman. Most recently, I’ve spent six years as Representative rising to Senior Deputy Majority Leader in the House and first Vice Chair of House Finance. I have worked with and helped my colleagues from Governor Chafee to Governor Raimondo, to Speaker Mattiello, and many of my elected colleagues at all the local level and state and federal levels. In addition I have been a General Manager of a small business in RI for 32 years, married with four children, and am very thankful for the opportunity to have been able to help our community’s success in my small way.
Bill Bartholomew is a podcast host, producer and musician based in Providence, RI. Listen to Bartholomewtown Radio Hour LIVE every Tuesday at 6pm on 990wbob.com
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