Roberts Out

Lieutenant Governor Elizabeth Roberts has taken a pass on the race to succeed Patrick Kennedy, as expected. With Myrth York weighing a run for Providence mayor and M. Teresa Paiva-Weed expected to skip the race - she is pro-life, which wouldn't play well in a Democratic primary and, as Senate president, carries the weight of a much-maligned General Assembly - that focuses the attention on little-known lawyer Donna Nesselbush as the likely woman candidate.

Nesselbush has been in dicussions with Emily's List - a Washington group that raises money for pro-choice, female Democrats - since it became clear that a big name was not going to emerge. A Pawtucket judge who has done advocacy work for gay legal groups, she could cut into Bill Lynch's geographic base (Pawtucket) and compete with Cicilline for money from gay and lesbian activists around the country.

Here's Roberts' statement:

Today, Lt. Governor Roberts made the following statement, “Over the last few days, I have been humbled by the support of many Rhode Islanders who have encouraged me to enter the race to succeed Congressman Kennedy representing Rhode Island’s first district in Washington. While it would be an honor to have the opportunity to be a member of congress, my place right now is here in Rhode Island.

“As I declared last July, I will run for re-election as lieutenant governor. Rhode Islanders need an advocate - someone who will stand up to insurance companies who are looking for double digit rate increases and will work to bring down the cost of health care, and most importantly, someone who works with small business owners to grow jobs in our state.

“Tonight, I stood up for businesses large and small across the state who are struggling with the worst economy in decades in the face of more double digit increases from health insurance companies. I will continue to fight for RI businesses and families as Lt. Governor.”

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