Providence Journal: Sanders endorses Regunberg, Reed backs McKee for R.I. lieutenant governor

PROVIDENCE, R.I. — The Democratic candidates for lieutenant governor picked up endorsements from U.S. senators on Saturday — Vermont senator and former presidential candidate Bernie Sanders for Providence State Rep. Aaron Regunberg, and Rhode Island Sen. Jack Reed for incumbent Daniel McKee.

Sanders called Regunberg “a real fighter for all Rhode Islanders during his time in the legislature and, in my view, would make an excellent lieutenant governor,” according to a news release from Regunberg’s campaign. “He has won real victories to raise wages, to combat climate change, and to make voting more accessible. He successfully championed paid sick leave for 100,000 Rhode Islanders, and he supports a Medicare-for-all national health care system. At this important political moment, we need state leaders like Aaron who are willing to take on entrenched corporate interests. That’s why I hope you will join me in supporting Aaron Regunberg for lieutenant governor.”

Reed said that he had worked with McKee when the candidate was mayor of Cumberland and as lieutenant governor.

“Dan is a man of integrity and of action, whether it is fighting to get big utilities to return big Trump tax cuts as rebated to ratepayers or organizing our communities to sue big Pharma to fight the opioid addiction epidemic,” Reed said in a statement released by McKee’s campaign. “Dan has always stood up for the people of Rhode Island, and therefore I am proud to stand with Dan by giving him my endorsement.”

The Rhode Island Manufacturers Association, representing more than 1,600 manufacturers across the state, also endorsed McKee.

“Dan’s firsthand understanding of the daily operations of small business and state government allow him to work with our members to solve problems, eliminate roadblocks and make the voice of all manufacturers heard,” David Chenevert, executive director of the Rhode Island Manufacturers Association, said in a statement. “Dan recognizes the value that the manufacturing sector brings to our State economic growth. We look forward to continuing to work with Lt. Governor McKee to create a positive business environment and help us continue to add to the 40,000 employees in manufacturing.”

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