BURRILLVILLE/NORTH SMITHFIELD/GLOCESTER – Independent Mary Ryan has launched a write-in campaign for an already contested seat representing District 23 in the state Senate.
Ryan, a Mapleville resident, has added her name to the race between incumbent Republican Sen. Jessica de la Cruz and Democrat Paul Roselli.
Citing 25 years as a civic educator, Ryan’s campaign states that she has been “a tireless advocate for the under dog,” since a young age. She attended Rhode Island College, and has worked as an accountant in the banking and security industries.
The third-party candidate also served as director of Rhode Island Hope, LLC and facilitator of Home Educators Network of Rhode Island.
Those who follow local news over the past two decades may recognize Ryan’s name. An activist who has lobbied and testified on everything from the rights of parents to home school, to the issue of contaminated well-water in Pascoag, Ryan was also the victim in the first rape conviction of a priest in Rhode Island.
Refusing a settlement in a later suit against the Diocese of Providence, Ryan took the case to the U.S. Supreme Court.
“Along with other Rhode Island victims of childhood sexual abuse by Catholic priests, Mary successfully brought to light the horrific existence and nature of these crimes, some of the perpetrators and Institutions that covered up and fostered that criminal conduct,” notes her campaign.
A vocal opponent in the fight against Invenergy’s failed proposal to build a power plant in Burrillville, Ryan was also active in a successful campaign to reduce telephone rates statewide and to protect Rhode Island homeowners from losing their homes through tax sales.
Ryan also worked with others in Burrillville to obtain a Rhode Island Superior Court Order of Injunction and to provide clean water to the residents in Pascoag. The order condemned the wells owned by the Pascoag Utility District, which were contaminated with gasoline and MTBE.
Recently, she spoke against the town’s use of emergency alerts in communicating with residents through the COVID-19 pandemic, saying it caused unnecessary fear and panic.
Ryan’s name will not appear on the ballot for the seat, covering parts of Burrillville, North Smithfield, and Glocester, in the general election, scheduled for Tuesday, Nov. 3. Roselli has endorsement from the Burrillville Democratic Town Committee in his official bid against first-term Sen. de la Cruz, a North Smithfield resident who also has her party’s endorsement.
Residents can learn more about the write-in campaign here.