Jones to challenge Newberry with run for District 48


NORTH SMITHFIELD – A current member of the North Smithfield School Committee has announced his intent to run for state representative, mounting a challenge to a Republican who has represented North Smithfield and Burrillville for more than a decade.

Paul Jones announced his candidacy this week, kicking off a fundraising campaign for the District 48 seat currently held Rep. Brian Newberry.

“In the coming weeks and months, I’ll be sharing more about my vision for the district,” Jones noted in a social media post.

The 35-year-old owner of Providence-based The Care Concierge of New England, Jones runs a service that aims to help seniors find appropriate living options. A North Smithfield resident since 2014, he has a bachelor’s degree in political science from Suffolk University and a master’s in emergency management from Massachusetts Maritime Academy.

He was appointed to fill a vacancy on the School Committee in December of 2016, and since served on several subcommittee assignments, including budget and contract negotiations. He has also served on the North Smithfield Library Board of Trustees.

In 2020, Jones launched a campaign to serve as town administrator in North Smithfield, ultimately losing to Paul Zwolenski. In 2021, he relaunched the North Smithfield Democratic Town Committee, where he now serves as chairman.

He is the first to announce a challenge for longtime Republican representative Newberry in the 2022 campaign season, and Jones himself noted that it will be far from an easy victory.

Newberry, 50, was first elected to the district with a victory over Democrat Raymond Church in 2008. He has served as Minority Whip, and was House Minority Leader from May 2011 through November 2016, when he chose not to seek re-election.

An attorney, Newberry received his bachelor’s degree at the University of Pennsylvania and a doctorate from Temple University School of Law. He is the former Vice-Chairman of the North Smithfield Republican Town Committee and former chairman of the North Smithfield Juvenile Hearing Board.

A partner in the law firm of Donovan Hatem LLP, Newberry currently serves on the House Labor Committee, the House Oversight Committee, the House Rules Committee and the House State Government and Elections Committee.

“This is going to be a hard fought race,” Jones noted in the announcement. “My opponent is an entrenched and well-funded Republican.”

“I will need to work hard to counter the oncoming attacks against me and share my ideas with the district,” Jones added. “I am running to be an advocate for all the residents in this district, and to fight for our fair share of a better tomorrow.”

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    • I would recommend that you go to Vote Smart and check Brian’s voting record on issues related to guns, domestic violence and women. These issues alone have summed it up for me. Additionally, his pro business stance and sponsorship of civics education have not helped this taxpayer at all.

    • I think that Paul would be right in line with how you feel about gun control.
      I personally would like to see The Valley Breeze and NRI Now hold a number of forums on issues that affect all of us.

  1. Paul’s a great guy and I’m excited to hear about his vision. I think a vocal minority channel their anger at him because of his positions while serving on the School Committee, but he did the right thing and was in step with popular opinion.

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