Rhode Island Senator Gives Up Re-election bid, Puts Black Lives Matter Leader in the Race

Warwick Sen. Kendra Anderson has decided not to run for reelection but instead to endorse a leader of Black Lives Matter Rhode Island Political Action Committee to replace her, reported The Providence Journal. Harrison Tuttle, 23, was announced Tuesday to be her successor.

Anderson said when she first ran, she saw no “meaningful climate legislation” signed into law. Now that her advocacy played a significant role in the passing of “crucial climate legislation” within the past year, she is passing her baton to another worthy candidate, per Providence Journal. Anderson said she believes Tuttle to be a “powerful advocate for racial and economic justice” with the “knowledge and experience to represent the district.”

Tuttle was reported to have led a number of initiatives with BLM including protests outside the Providence Public Safety Complex as well as co-author an op-ed with the president of the local NAACP chapter.

More on Tuttle from Providence Journal:

Among Tuttle’s priorities: repeal of the Law Enforcement Officers’ Bill of Rights.

While some Democrats back reform, the Black Lives Matter RI PAC backs outright repeal on grounds the law shields police officers from being held accountable for misconduct.

In his statement, he summed up his more recent political endeavors this way:

“After the murder of George Floyd, Harrison took to the streets in peaceful protest. Wanting to make a positive change, he became heavily involved in political organizing through Black Lives Matter RI PAC, before becoming their executive director.”

Tuttle said he was “shocked” and “honored” to be offered the opportunity to run, reported Providence Journal. On his platform he had built 10,000 green affordable homes, rose the minimum wage to $19 an hour, legalized marijuana and much more to support initiatives that especially help people of color.

Tuttle vowed to take his “fight for economic, climate and racial justice to the State House,” reported Providence Journal.

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Nathan Odige