New lieutenant governor should be chosen by voters, RI lawmaker says

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Rhode Island Deputy Speaker Charlene Lima is set to introduce legislation requiring a special election be held for the office of lieutenant governor.

The position would open up when current Lt. Governor Dan McKee takes Governor Gina Raimondo’s place if she heads to the D.C. to join President-elect Joe Biden’s cabinet.

“I think it best lies in the hands of the public to decide who they want as their lieutenant governor,” Lima said in an interview with 12 News Now at 4 anchor Kim Kalunian.

Lima said she had no problems with McKee or the people reportedly being considered for the position, but believes it is something that should be up to the public to decide.

“This is not something personal to McKee at all,” she said. “This is just a process I think we need to have where the people have a voice.”

Lima pushed back against the idea that the bill would violate the state’s constitution, arguing the constitution does not directly provide details on how to fill a lieutenant governor vacancy.

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