de la Cruz named Senate minority leader

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PROVIDENCE – The Rhode Island Senate Minority Caucus has announce the election of Sen. Jessica de la Cruz to serve as the Senate minority leader, and Sen. Gordon Rogers as Senate Minority Whip.

The election comes following the decision by Senate Minority Leader Dennis Algiere to not seek reelection after 30 years on Smith Hill. Algiere, who had been minority leader since 1997, will continue his service to the state as a senator until January 2023.

“I’m deeply honored that my caucus has entrusted me with this nomination,” de la Cruz said. “I recognize this comes with tremendous responsibility at a critical moment for Rhode Islanders.”

de la Cruz, who represents District 23 in Burrillville, Glocester and North Smithfield, was first elected in 2018 and is now serving her second term. A 40-year-old North Smithfield resident and mother of three, de la Cruz has served on the judiciary and labor committees and was the previous Senate Minority Whip.

She initially announced a run for the Congressional seat formerly held by Jim Langevin, but withdrew from the campaign in April, endorsing Cranston Mayor Allan Fung. She is running unopposed in 2022.

“I have immense optimism about our state’s future despite the uncertainty ahead,” she added. “One thing that was always certain was Senator Algiere’s steady hand. He remains one of the finest examples of a statesman. His leadership was always reliable and unfaltering which is why he is universally respected throughout our state. I cannot thank him enough for his guidance over the last four years and I promise I will constantly thrive to meet the moment with the very high standard he has set for this privileged position.”

Rogers said, “I am eager to continue my many years of public service and am excited to do so with many years of public service and am excited to the help of my colleagues in a role that will enable me to assist Leader de la Cruz build our caucus and champion issues that are critical to our communities.”

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