UPDATE: Former three-term state rep. Amy Rice, a Democrat, said she is considering running for the state Senate seat vacated this week by Christopher Ottiano. Rice, a lawyer who was defeated by Republican Daniel Reilly in 2010, said her career and family will be the top factors in her consideration of whether to pursue the Senate seat. Rice worked in the Chafee administration as a legal counsel and policy official.
Three-term state Sen. Christopher S. Ottiano (R-Portsmouth) announced his resignation Tuesday, effective immediately, due to his taking a job as associate medical director at Neighborhood Health Plan of Rhode lsland.
The move cuts the number of Republicans in the 38-member state Senate from five to four.
"Serving as Associate Medical Director at Neighborhood will demand all my working time and attention," Ottiano said in a statement. "In fairness to the people of Bristol, Portsmouth and Tiverton, and my new employer, I’ve decided to resign as State Senator."
Ottiano first won election in 2010 by beating incumbent Sen. Charles Levesque, a former state rep. who is now a Family Court magistrate.
A graduate of Wesleyan University and Tufts University School of Medicine, Ottiano added, “I’d like to thank Senate President Paiva Weed, Leader Ruggerio, Minority Leader Algiere, and Majority Whip Goodwin and all of my colleagues in the senate for their guidance and support during my time in office. And, most importantly, I’d like to thank my constituents for their trust. It has been an honor to serve as their representative in the state senate.”
State law calls for the secretary of state to schedule a special election to fill the seat vacated by Ottiano.
In a statement, Senate President Teresa Paiva Weed said, “Senator Ottiano has distinguished himself as a dedicated public servant able to work across the aisle for the greater good of the state. He brought a valuable perspective to the Senate and was instrumental in the passage of legislation to reduce overdose deaths, expand electronic prescriptions, and much more. The Senate is grateful for his service, and we wish him the best as he embarks on this exciting new chapter of his career.”