Beauté of North Smithfield declares run for secretary of state

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NORTH SMITHFIELD – A technology professional who resides in North Smithfield has announced her intent to run for Rhode Island secretary of state, in a Democratic primary for the role set for Tuesday, Sept. 13.

Stephanie Beauté announced her campaign on Monday, August 1, noting that she is the first Black woman to run for the position.

A 35-year-old graduate of Hope High School in Providence, Beauté has a bachelor’s degree in business/corporate communications from the University of Rhode Island and master’s from the University of Maryland. The first time candidate will challenge frontrunner Gregg Amore of East Providence, who has backing from the state party and organized labor. Incumbent Secretary of State Nellie Gorbea faces a term limit and is in the race for governor.

“Some have tried to say that this being my first time in politics is a weakness, that I don’t have the experience, but I see it as a strength,” Beauté said in an announcement. “I have no agenda here other than to serve the Rhode Islanders who are currently suffering due to the same tired old ways in which their government does business.”

Beauté is a senior product manager at Hi Marley Inc., a company that supplies software to the insurance industry. She previously worked as a technical product manager for GE Digital and purchased a home on Great Road last year.

She said one of her top priorities would be to “protect, improve, and expand – not restrict – the voting process.”

“I have a track record of looking at complex problems and crafting solutions that work for everyone,” Beauté said.

“Beauté broadcasts inclusive and intentional leadership, lauding her commitment to fight against voter suppression,” the release said. “Beauté firmly believes access to opportunity is essential to a strong democracy – and background, native language, zip code or access to power should not be the determining factor to success.”

The winner of the September primary will face off against Republican Pat Cortellessa, who is also running for secretary of state. Cortellessa ran unsuccessfully against Gorbea in 2018.

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