Heitke to run for Fogarty’s senate seat

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BURRILLVILLE – Former Burrillville Town Councilor and Municipal Court Judge Kevin Heitke will run for the District 23 Senate seat representing Glocester, Burrillville and a portion of North Smithfield.

Sen. Paul Fogarty, who has held the position for the past two decades, announced last month that he will not seek reelection when his term runs out in November.

“I have worked on many long-term projects with Sen. Fogarty including continued protection of RIPTA Bus 9 route, working for state aid for schools, protection of the environment, addressing the opioid epidemic and maintaining the rural character of RI’s northwest quadrant,” said Heitke in announcing the news.

An attorney for more than 30 years, Heitke was a founding member of Burrillville Land Trust and has served as Council liason to the Zoning Board, Planning Board and Extended Care Program. He also serves as a board member on the Austin T. Levy Board of Administration.

He is the current vice chairman of the Burrillville Democratic Town Committee, and the group announced their endorsement of his campaign this week.

Heitke graduated with honors from The University of Michigan in 1995 with a bachelor’s degree in political science and graduated from Southwestern University School of Law’s SCALE program in 1987.

He worked as an associate with Morgan, Wenzel & McNicholas in Los Angeles from 1987 through 1990, and then became a partner with Portnoy, Craven & Heitke in Providence. Heitke started his own firm in 1996.

The Burrillville resident announced the news on the Friends of Kevin D. Heitke Facebook page. 

“Of all of the many races I have run – from the Boston Marathon to Glocester’s own ‘Run with the Beavers’ Trail Race in Pulaski Memorial Park, my next run, which starts immediately, is District 23’s State Senate seat,” Heitke wrote. “Beginning today, I will need your support to earn this important Senate position.”

Heitke and wife Jo-Ann have three college-age children.

In other election news, State Rep. and former House Minority Leader Brian Newberry has announced his intention to seek re-election for District 48 representing North Smithfield and Burrillville, a seat he has held for 10 years.

A Republican who lives in North Smithfield, Newberry said he hopes to continue to put forward an agenda of lower taxes, less regulatory red tape and overall less government.

The BDTC committee also endorsed James Langevin in his reelection bid for Congress, as well as Rep. Cale Keeble; Secretary of State Nellie Gorbea, and General Treasurer Seth Magaziner. and former U.S. Attorney Peter Neronha for Attorney General. The group made no endorsements for the positions of United States senator, governor or lieutenant governor.

All those who wish to seek election in the state must file a declaration of candidacy by June 27.

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