Six Democrats and one Republican are in the running to fill a state Senate seat on the East Side of Providence that became vacant when former Sen. Gayle Goldin took a job in the Biden administration’s U.S. Labor Department.

The primary election that will narrow the field is October 5 -- just five weeks away -- so the Democratic candidates have to hustle to make their case to voters.

The hopefuls include former state representative Ray Rickman, former city councilor Samuel Zurier, and author and former head of the state chapter of the National Organization for Women Hilary Levey Friedman. Also running are business consultant Shirley Francis-Fraser, an aide to Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza, Bret Jacob, and a progressive backed by the Rhode Island Political Cooperative, Geena Pham.

Whichever Democrat wins the October 5 primary will face Republican Alex Cannon in the November 2 general election.

Candidates have to collect 100 signatures by 4 pm September 7 to qualify for the ballot.

Ian Donnis can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @IanDon. Sign up here for his weekly RI politics and media newsletter.