2014-06-26 / Around Town

GOP Candidate to Challenge Paiva Weed

By Tom Walsh

A dark-horse Republican candidate suddenly emerged at Newport City Hall as the June 25 4 p.m. deadline for candidacy filings drew near and announced he would challenge entrenched state Senate President M. Teresa Paiva Weed in the city’s 13th Senate district.

Asked whether he considered his bid for Paiva Weed’s seat a long shot, Michael W. Smith smiled and replied, “It sure is. That’s what makes it exciting.”

Smith, who said he expects to be endorsed by the Republican State committee, said, “I’m a neighbor, a father, a business owner and I’m concerned with the way the state’s economy is going.” He said that he plans to campaign hard throughout Newport and Jamestown, which is also part of the district.

In a prepared statement Smith, who listed his home address as 19 3rd St., Newport, declared, “Senator Weed has been in office for 21 years. After two generations, what do Newport and Jamestown have to show for her leadership? Her talk about jobs and the economy is just that—all talk, no action. Too many of our neighbors simply can’t find a good full-time job.”

Smith promised “to make Newport Jamestown a year-round economy.” And, he said he would work “to cut red tape, lower taxes and expose the backroom politics that are killing and driving away business in our district and state.”

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