Sen. Ed O’Neill says he will not seek re-election

NORTH PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — State Sen. Ed O’Neill has announced he will not seek another term once his current one expires at the end of December.

In a statement Monday, the District 17 Republican said he decided to walk away after four 2-year terms to align with his support of congressional term limits.

“Our leaders need to recognize the basic issues, address them, and rebuild RI starting from a strong foundation of ethics oversight and accountability,” he advised.

O’Neill represents Lincoln, North Providence, and North Smithfield.

The announcement comes shortly after his switch to the Republican party from an independent stance.

“I do plan to remain active in efforts to restore balance in the General Assembly, now as a Republican,” O’Neill said. With the change, he’s one of only six Republicans in the state’s 38-member Senate.

O’Neill said he’s also prepared to serve as a Trump delegate in the Republican National Convention in Cleveland.

The senator wishes for his legacy to highlight his hold against higher taxes, repeated efforts to restore the Ethics Commission Oversight of the General Assembly and saving the Camp Meehan land for open space, among other efforts.

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