Mattiello calls Thursday caucus for leadership vote

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Confident Thursday’s final count will show him winning re-election, House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello has informed Democratic lawmakers that he will hold a caucus Thursday evening to elect a new State House leadership team.

The meeting of Democratic representatives and representatives-elect will be held at 7 p.m. at Chapel Grille, a restaurant in Cranston, the city Mattiello represents, according to an email they received Wednesday evening.

While Election Day results showed Mattiello trailing Republican challenger Steven Frias by 147 votes, the Democratic speaker’s campaign has expressed confidence that he will win the race once all mail ballots are tabulated by the R.I. Board of Elections on Thursday afternoon.

Mattiello is expected to remain in place as speaker next year if he’s re-elected. But he will need a new majority leader after his current No. 2, Providence Rep. John DeSimone, lost his primary in September and a long-shot write-in bid on Tuesday.

Among those frequently mentioned as potential new majority leaders: Burrillville Rep. Cale Keable, Warwick Rep. Joe Shekarchi, Providence Rep. Chris Blazejewski and North Kingstown Rep. Robert Craven. However, it’s possible Mattiello could go with a different choice.

Ted Nesi ( covers politics and the economy for He writes The Saturday Morning Post and hosts Executive Suite. Follow him on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram

Dan McGowan contributed to this report.