Mattiello backs Rep. McNamara for Democratic Party chair

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Rhode Island House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello wants State Rep. Joseph McNamara to take the helm of the state’s Democratic Party.

McNamara would replace acting chair Grace Diaz, who took over in July when David Caprio stepped down. In a release sent to Eyewitness News on Thursday, Mattiello said he wanted to have a new chair in place before the party’s unity dinner on Oct. 14.

“Joe McNamara is a dedicated, well-spoken and hard-working member of our party who will do a terrific job as chairman,” Speaker Mattiello said in a statement. “He recently retired after a distinguished career as an educator and he will have the time and energy to devote to the party.”

McNamara was elected to represent Warwick in 1994. For the past 12 years he’s served as the chairman of the House Health, Education, and Welfare Committee, and is also a member of the House Labor Committee and Environment and Natural Resources Committee.

The party said a state committee will elect a new chairman at a meeting scheduled for Oct. 9 in Cranston.

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