Rhode Island GOP picks first woman House minority leader

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — The tiny Republican minority of the Rhode Island House of Representatives has picked a new leader and the first woman to assume the role.

West Warwick Rep. Patricia Morgan said Wednesday she will succeed current House Minority Leader Brian Newberry.

Newberry had announced earlier this year that he planned to step down as leader. His preferred successor was Foster Rep. Michael Chippendale, but Rhode Island Public Radio reports the 11-member caucus voted 6-5 earlier this week in favor of Morgan. A final vote in support of Morgan was unanimous.

Morgan, a financial adviser, was first elected in 2010 and has been the deputy minority leader. She’s known for speaking out for fiscal and ethical reforms.

Block Island Rep. Blake Filippi, a former independent, will be the GOP’s minority whip.

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