Jason Knight is a Rhode Island activist
Working Families Party
The Working Families Party of Rhode Island won four key victories in the state’s Democratic primary election August 2017, defeating conservative incumbents by endorsing candidates who support a $15 minimum wage, paid sick leave for workers, racial and gender equality and other progressive issues.
A teacher from Providence who was born in Jamaica, Marcia Ranglin-Vassell, scored the narrowest and most-surprising upset, defeating House Majority Leader John DeSimone with a platform that emphasized better public education. She won by 17 votes.
“That’s a huge upset—a very big deal,” said Georgia Hollister Isman, state director for the Rhode Island WFP. DeSimone “was a long-serving and very powerful figure in the House.”
The other WFP-endorsed candidates who won were Jeanine Calkin, Jason Knight and Moira Walsh. Each believed “the Democratic Party wasn't representing their values,” Hollister-Isman said, “and had faith that if they took that directly to the voters, it would get a lot of support. And they were right.”
“These victories create some very real momentum that we can build on,” said Hollister Isman.
- [http://inthesetimes.com/article/19470/a-progressive-wave-rolls-through-rhode-island-with-4-working-families-party ITT WEB ONLY / FEATURES » SEPTEMBER 16, 2016 A Progressive Wave Rolls Through Rhode Island With 4 Working Families Party Wins, BY THEO ANDERSON]