EAST PROVIDENCE — Democratic candidate, Pawtucket native and former member of the Obama and Biden administrations Gabe Amo became the representative-elect from Rhode Island Congressional …
EAST PROVIDENCE — Democratic candidate, Pawtucket native and former member of the Obama and Biden administrations Gabe Amo became the representative-elect from Rhode Island Congressional District 1 following his victory over Republican Gerry Leonard in the Tuesday, Nov. 7, special election.
Amo carried the 21-municipality district stretching from the Blackstone Valley to the East Bay to Aquidneck Island by a margin of 62.8%-36.9 (36,940-21,743) with 94% or 85 of 90 polling places reporting as of 9 p.m. that same evening.
Amo also won both his base of Pawtucket, 3,438-1295, as well as Leonard's home of Jamestown, 1,317-595.
Of even greater import, Amo will become the first African American ever to serve in either chamber of Congress representing Rhode Island.
The election was necessary after Democratic incumbent David Cicilline opted to retire eight months after he was re-elected to a seventh term in November 2022. Cicilline stepped away from Congress to become president and chief executive officer of the non-profit Rhode Island Foundation.
Amo spent mid-afternoon Tuesday in East Providence, making stops at the Ward 4 polling station in Riverside at Crescent Park Manor then heading to Cafe Zara & Coffee House in Ward 2 on Taunton Avenue across from City Hall. His election night watch party took place at the end of the evening back in hometown Pawtucket at The Guild brew pub.
"I feel a cautious optimism because the only thing I can really control is how hard we're working," Amo said at Crescent Park Manor Tuesday. "And I know our team is working very hard to get our message out, to send somebody to Washington (DC) with experience who is going to make government function and who is going to fight for the priorities of Rhode Islanders across the first Congressional district."
Amo said he has been trying to convince voters the federal government "can be used as a means to find solutions, which is what I've done in my career. And I think that message is resonating. My hope is that if we are successful people will see a very responsive congressperson in the work that I put forward."
As was the case in the overall tally, Amo easily won East Providence with 3,431 or 66.9% of the vote to the 1,681 or 32.8% for Leonard. There were 16 write-in votes in city.
View the full special election results at https://www.ri.gov/election/results/2023/general_election/races/1.html.