East Greenwich Pendulum: Candidates answer tough questions

DOMENIC KIERS Aug 24, 2018 0


EAST GREENWICH—Monday night the two Democratic candidates for state senate District 35 (East Greenwich, North Kingstown, Narragansett, South Kingstown) Bridget Valverde and Gregory Acciardo, met for a public forum.

The forum took place at the East Greenwich campus of New England Technical Institute in the Philip Parsons Lecture Hall. The forum showed two candidates who so far have had very different careers. In the case of Acciardo, he once served as a senator in Johnston, and has been a member of multiple committees in the state house. Meanwhile, Valverde has not held an office before, but has spent plenty of time working for different non-profit national organizations.

Hosted by East Greenwich News and the East Greenwich Chamber of Commerce, the forum featured a series of questions submitted by residents of East Greenwich. The question that seemed to be the biggest disagreement between the two candidates involved whether or not they supported Gov. Raimondo's proposal to extend free college tuition from the Community College of Rhode Island to Rhode Island College and the University of Rhode Island.

“I do,” said Valverde. “Our state does not offer a whole lot of aid to our higher education institutions. We find that a lot of students that go to CCRI, RIC and URI, are spending a lot of money on tuition. So graduating on time or at all is becoming unattainable for many students in Rhode Island. The program so far has been successful and I will support expanding it.” However, Acciardo had a very different view of the program.

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