WARWICK, RII — RI Speaker of the House, Rep. Joe Shekarchi (D-Dist. 23 – Warwick) is running for re-election for Warwick’s District 23 on Nov. 5.
Shekarchi, 61, an attorney practicing in Warwick, has represented the district since 2013, and was the Democratic Majority Leader from 2017 to 2021 before his colleagues elected him Speaker of the House in 2021 and 2023. He was last challenged in the 2022 Democratic Primary by Jacquelyn “Jackie” Anderson, winning that contest and also winning the subsequent election against Republican software security architect Dana James Traversie.
“Representing my hometown of Warwick is truly the honor of a lifetime, and I’m very excited to continue the great work we’ve started: making housing more affordable, building an economy that creates good-paying private sector jobs, increasing access to educational opportunities, and continuing to lead the way in environmental and climate protections,” Shekarchi said in announcing his re-election bid.
In his announcement, Shekarchi listed several accomplishments as one of the top members of the state’s Democratic leadership:
- Skekarchi led historic investments in housing, spearheading the investment of more than $350 million in housing initiatives. He also sponsored and supported legislative efforts to cut red tape and streamline the process for housing production. In June 2023, the General Asssembly passed Shekarchi’s package of 13 bills addressing Rhode Island’s housing crisis by speeding housing production.
- Shekarchi presided over passage of four balanced, bipartisan budgets with no new tax increases. These budgets have bolstered investment in Medicaid, helping seniors and those living with disabilities.
- Shekarchi worked to ensure strategic tax cuts for virtually every Rhode Islander: the permanent elimination of the car tax; widespread exemption in the tangible tax, which wiped out the tax for 75% of Rhode Island small businesses; reducing the tax burden on seniors by exempting more retirement income from state taxation; and eliminating all state income taxes on military pensions.
“Most importantly, the taxpayers of District 23 and the city of Warwick are my primary concern. I remain committed to always protecting and representing their best interests,” said Joe. “I’m extremely proud this year’s state budget includes more than $4 million in additional state aid for Warwick schools and significantly more state funding for local roads and other vital services.”
Shekarchi, also an advocate of animals through his longtime support of Friends of the Warwick Animal Shelter, has an especially strong love for dogs. He can often be seen walking his rescue dog, Merlin, at Warwick City Park in Buttonwoods.
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