Mitchell Mounts Credible Write-In Campaign In Ward 3

[UPDATE: Mitchell ahead by 22 votes! Still unofficial but the Providence Journal reports that Marcus Mitchell may just have pulled this off! BC]

When lawn signs start appearing for a write-in campaign, something is up. Marcus Mitchell, founding president of the Providence Community Library, is mounting a write-in candidacy for Providence City Council Ward 3.* All you really need to know about his opponent Kevin Jackson — on the City Council for almost 20 years now — he is a campaign co-chair for twice-convicted felon Buddy Cianci. (It was Jackson’s decision to co-chair Buddy Cianci’s mayoral campaign that infuriated Ward 3 residents and prompted Mitchell to launch this write-in campaign.)

Never mind Cianci for now, certain problems attach to Jackson’s own record. The incumbent seems utterly incapable of complying with state mandated filing requirements. Karina Holyoak Wood, co-chair of friends of Marcus Mitchell, filed a complaint in October with the Board of Elections on behalf of Mitchell, and sends along this update.

According to the RI Board of Elections, Jackson has failed to file any reports for over the past year – including the most recent report for the period for July 1 to October 6th.

This violation follows a long history of Jackson’s failure to comply with election laws. Jackson has been repeatedly sued by the Board of Elections over the past two decades, including in 2011 for racking up over $23,000 in fines.

In 2014, the RI Board of Elections unanimously found that Jackson failed to report making contributions or expenditures despite Board of Elections officials identifying $4,905 in unreported contributions received by Jackson. The Board referred the matter to the Office of the Attorney General.

Jackson currently owes over $30,000 in fines to the State of Rhode Island for ongoing non-compliance.

Yup, that’s a Cianci man. WPRI Eyewitness News covered a recent forum between the two candidates, noting why this race should be important to all Providence residents.

The outcome of the race could play a significant role in deciding the next president of the City Council, where current favorite Luis Aponte, Ward 10, has already said he would make Jackson the Democratic majority leader and chairman of the Finance Committee.

Mitchell has an interesting resumé to be sure — one that includes time working with Rick Santorum of all people — but Dose contributor Jim Almo asks that voters look at the big picture.

Mitchell prefers to let his record speak for him. He has worked with some of the most conservative politicians in this country to give voice and funding to under-served communities, his background is in economic development, and he has won awards for community service and dedication to civil rights. Mitchell says that he works to “get the job done with whatever resources are available.” I, for one, am ready to see Providence “get the job done”, and hope you will join me in writing in Marcus Mitchell for Ward 3 City Council on Tuesday.

*Ward 3 encompasses the Mt. Hope, Summit, and Hope Street neighborhoods, beginning at Olney Street, running north to Pawtucket, and from Elmgrove Avenue to I-95.

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