Longtime legislator entering race for Barrington Town Council

Joy Hearn shifting her focus from state to local politics

Posted 11/20/18

Barrington resident Joy Hearn announced Monday, Nov. 19, that she will run for the open seat on the Barrington Town Council. 

A special election has been scheduled for Feb. 6, to fill Peter …

This item is available in full to subscribers.

Please log in to continue

Log in

Not a subscriber?


Start a Subscription

Sign up to start a subscription today! Click here to see your options.

Purchase a day pass

Purchase 24 hours of website access for $2. Click here to continue

Day pass subscribers

Are you a day pass subscriber who needs to log in? Click here to continue.


Longtime legislator entering race for Barrington Town Council

Joy Hearn shifting her focus from state to local politics

Posted

Barrington resident Joy Hearn announced Monday, Nov. 19, that she will run for the open seat on the Barrington Town Council. 

A special election has been scheduled for Feb. 5, to fill Peter Dennehy's two-year, unexpired term. Mr. Dennehy resigned two years early from the council due to illness.

Ms. Hearn is no stranger to politics. 

For the last 10 years, she has served as the District 66 representative in the RI House. In early January, Ms. Hearn, a Democrat, announced she would not be running for a sixth term at the Statehouse — she said she was a fan of term limits and believed that vacating her District 66 seat would allow for a more "robust election."

The race for the District 66 seat this fall featured a Democratic primary between first-time candidates Liana Cassar and John Chung. Ms. Cassar defeated Mr. Chung and then captured the seat with a win over Republican Rhonda Holmes in the Nov. 6 general election.

Meanwhile, Barrington Democrats Michael Carroll (an incumbent) and Jacob Brier (a first-time candidate) both won seats on the town council during the November election, and Republican incumbent Stephen Primiano was voted off the council. Mr. Primiano said during a recent interview he had no intentions of running in the special election, and Republicans have not yet announced another candidate for the council race.

Ms. Hearn shared her intentions to run for in the special election in a recent letter to the editor.

"I believe that I am uniquely qualified to understand the needs of local government, supported by my volunteer history here in Barrington and the depth and breadth of my work at the state level," wrote Ms. Hearn. "The Town of Barrington has long been fortunate to be a well-run municipality, operating with fundamental values of respect, transparency and fiscal responsibility. I will continue to follow that path and hope to bring the knowledge and expertise that I have acquired at the state level, especially through my work on the finance committee, to make a difference at the local level."

Ms. Hearn was first elected the General Assembly in Nov. 2008. Most recently, she has served as a member of the House Committee on Finance and the House Committee on Municipal Government.

In her letter, Ms. Hearn wrote that if elected for the two-year seat she would focus on two goals.

"The focus of my first goal is accessibility, including its expansion relative to information as well as transportation infrastructure and options (bicycle, walking, public transportation options, and traffic pattern analysis)," wrote Ms. Hearn. "The focus of my second goal is supporting business development, including nurturing our business community through the investigation of how to improve a climate that seems to be struggling at this time."

According to Ms. Hearn's biography page for the General Assembly, the local legislator was a driving force behind campaign finance reform and focused much of her work on education "most notably her legislative initiatives that allocated funds for full-day kindergarten and supported the creation and execution of the state’s education funding formula."

Ms. Hearn said she plans to speak with Barrington residents to "learn about what is on their minds, from pocketbook issues to community issues."

"I promise I will be listening as I respectfully ask for their vote on Feb. 6," she wrote.

2020 by East Bay Newspapers

Barrington · Bristol · East Providence · Little Compton · Portsmouth · Tiverton · Warren · Westport
Meet our staff
Jim McGaw

A lifelong Portsmouth resident, Jim graduated from Portsmouth High School in 1982 and earned a journalism degree from the University of Rhode Island in 1986. He's worked two different stints at East Bay Newspapers, for a total of 18 years with the company so far. When not running all over town bringing you the news from Portsmouth, Jim listens to lots and lots and lots of music, watches obscure silent films from the '20s and usually has three books going at once. He also loves to cook crazy New Orleans dishes for his wife of 25 years, Michelle, and their two sons, Jake and Max.