Almeida won’t make Medina arrest an issue in primary rematch

Former state Rep. Joseph Almeida says he’s not going to make a political issue out of his opponent Rep. Leo Medina’s latest arrest as he campaigns to retake the seat Medina won two years ago.

“I actually feel bad for his family,” Almeida told on Tuesday. “I’ll be honest with you – I’m not your typical politician. I feel bad for his family. But at the same time, this is about the South Side and I’m looking out for my election and taking care of Joe Almeida. … Let the due process of law take its process.”

Almeida and Medina are competing in the Sept. 11 Democratic primary to represent House District 12 on Providence’s South Side. Almeida held the seat since 1998 until 2010, when Medina defeated him in the Democratic primary by 26 votes despite a string of bad headlines leading up to the election.

A number of people reached out to Almeida on Tuesday morning as news spread of Medina’s arrest for allegedly practicing law without a license. “My phone has been ringing a lot,” he said. “I’m down to two bars.”

Almeida said he’s been walking District 12 each day from around 3 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. and talking to voters. “The response to yours truly is really good,” he said. “People are just worried about jobs and economic development. That’s the thing that keeps coming up again, over and over again, down here on the South Side.”

As of June 30, Almeida had $2,671 on hand for his campaign and Medina had $3,092. There is no endorsed Democrat in the race, according to the secretary of state’s office. Providence Mayor Angel Taveras endorsed Almeida on Tuesday afternoon in an email sent to his supporters.

(photo: R.I. General Assembly)

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