Portsmouth Democrats Criticize State Democratic Party Endorsements

Jul 6, 2018

Portsmouth Democrats, at the Portsmouth Democratic Town Committee meeting on July 5th, unanimously adopted a resolution urging the Rhode Island Democratic Party to change the way party General Assembly candidate endorsements are approved.

The resolution urges the state committee to “craft a plan to proactively educate all Democratic candidates about the procedures and timelines involved in endorsement, as well as taking steps to improve the transparency and accountability of the process.”

“The members of the town committee expressed their disappointment in the way endorsements were handled by the state party in the current election,” Said Len Katzman, town Democratic chairman. “While we were encouraged by the two endorsements which were rescinded on Thursday, we feel there are systemic issues which still need to be addressed. We want all Democrats to trust the process.”

The resolution cites “allegations of unfair treatment” along with endorsement of candidates with “questionable credentials” and mentioned the resulting “harsh national media coverage.”

The question now is how widely shared are the opinions of Portsmouth Democrats. Is this an isolated local decision, or the first of a series of protests by grass-roots Democrats at the city and town level against the General Assembly establishment that controls the endorsement process?