Ascencao says message, team and hard work won the election

By Scott Pickering
Posted 9/13/18

The victor in Wednesday’s House of Representatives District 68 Democratic primary is resting a little and catching up on laundry today. It’s been a few long months for the first-time …

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.


Ascencao says message, team and hard work won the election

Posted

The victor in Wednesday’s House of Representatives District 68 Democratic primary is resting a little and catching up on laundry today. It’s been a few long months for the first-time candidate who scored a surprisingly easy victory over Bristol Town Councilor and Bristol Marine owner Andy Tyska.

Mr. Ascencao has not won the seat yet. He moves on to face Libertarian William Hunt in November.

But he got a big boost by capturing 65 percent of the vote, and don’t expect him to rest for long. He believes the keys to Wednesday’s Primary were the many hours and miles he logged going door to door in the district currently represented by Kenneth Marshall.

“I knocked on doors three to four hours every day, and probably eight to nine hours a day on weekends … And if there’s a quality people are looking for, it’s hard work and the willingness to listen to people. And I’m going to work hard and listen to people,” Mr. Ascencao said.

He believes one dominant theme permeated this election and this race.

“When I knocked on doors, the number one thing I heard people say is, they were sick of politics in general, sick of being ignored by politicians,” Mr. Ascencao said. “I’ve told this story already, but I was tired of being ignored, too. I tried reaching out to my state rep., Kenny Marshal, many times, and I was being ignored, I couldn’t be given the time of day … So my frustration was similar to the frustration of many people around here. I acknowledged it. I talked about it. It resonated with people.”

After the results were final Wednesday night, Mr. Tyska was critical of the type of campaign he felt was run against him. He accused Mr. Ascencao and his supporters of coordinating a campaign focused on two things — him and national issues.

Mr. Ascencao responded to both of those claims on Thursday.

“I did not run a campaign against Andy,” he said. “I never once mentioned his name. I never once talked about him. I talked about the Statehouse and the issues that are there. Check all my literature and you will see that is true.

“There were negative components of this campaign. Some were from him. The idea that he never spoke about me is false.”

Mr. Ascencao acknowledged that other groups, like Planned Parenthood and RI Family Values, attacked Mr. Tyska during the campaign, and that some of those attacks were unfortunate.

“These groups were concerned about his ties to Speaker of the House [Nicholas] Matiello … and given the circumstances, it was a fair question to ask.”

Regarding the issues each candidate focused on, Mr. Ascencao spoke passionately. Talking about issues like gun control, women’s reproductive rights, and renewable energy, he said, “I reject this idea that the issues I care about are national issues. These are issues that people in Bristol and Warren care about deeply … If people did not care about these issues, I would not have won by a 2-1 margin.”

Mr. Ascencao also gave credit to his team of family, friends and supporters. He said the group was passionate and hard-working.

Asked about his campaign moving forward, Mr. Ascencao said it will be very similar to the one that got him this far.

“The campaign you’re going to see is the one you’ve already seen. I’m going to talk about what I believe in,” he said.

“It’s not about your opponent, it’s about your beliefs.”

2021 by East Bay Newspapers

Barrington · Bristol · East Providence · Little Compton · Portsmouth · Tiverton · Warren · Westport
Meet our staff
Scott Pickering

Scott Pickering has been on the East Bay Newspapers team for more than two decades, since starting as a reporter for the Sakonnet Times. He's been editor of most of the papers, was Managing Editor of all the papers for many years, and became General Manager in 2012. Today he can be found posting to EastBayRI.com, steering news coverage, writing editorials, talking to readers, working with the sales team, collaborating on design, or helping do whatever it takes to get the papers out the door. Reach him at spickering@eastbaynewspapers.com.