Another Democrat joins race to replace Councilman Jackson in Ward 3

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Another candidate has entered the race to replace Ward 3 Councilman Kevin Jackson.

Nirva Rebecca LaFortune, a Democrat who was born in Haiti and grew up in Providence before attending college in Philadelphia, filed a notice of organization with the R.I. Board of Elections Thursday. The filing allows her to begin raising funds for the race.

Reached Friday, LaFortune confirmed she will run in the Democratic primary for council. She joins Democrat Mark Santow and Republican David Lallier Jr. as the three candidates who have publicly stated they are joining the race.

The candidates are running to succeed Jackson, a 58-year-old Democrat who was overwhelmingly recalled by Ward 3 voters last week. The recall was organized after Jackson was arrested and indicted last year on charges that he embezzled from a youth sports organization he founded in the 1978. Jackson is also accused of using his campaign fund to cover personal expenses. He has pleaded not guilty.

The City Council is expected to formally declare Jackson’s seat vacant and schedule a special election for this summer at a meeting next week.

LaFortune, 34, said she grew up on the city’s South Side and attended Mount Pleasant High School. She attended Temple University and now works at Brown University. She lives on Duncan Avenue, which is in the Mount Hope neighborhood.

Describing herself as an “educator, parent and active community member,” LaFortune said she is running because “our community really deserves a voice for the neighborhood.”

Ward 3 stretches from the University Heights apartment complex off of North Main Street all the way north to the Pawtucket line.

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Dan McGowan ( dmcgowan@wpri.com ) covers politics, education and the city of Providence for WPRI.com. Follow him on Facebook and Twitter: @danmcgowan