Community Activist Norton Running for General Assembly Again in 2018
Monday, October 23, 2017
Norton lost in the Democratic primary in 2016 to incumbent David Coughlin, who was first elected in 2014 -- Coughlin had 492 votes to Norton's 445.
"The biggest and most painful lesson I learned in my 2016 run for office was that not every vote counts and our state institutions do not protect the integrity of elections or the rights of voters to cast ballots and have them counted. The mishaps in Pawtucket in 2016 were really shocking to me; from the 8 missing votes, to the mail ballots that 155 voters received twice, to voters leaving the polls in frustration, to the leaving of unscanned ballots in unsecured boxes on the floor," said Norton. "Unfortunately, my own vote was not counted in this morass of incompetence and when I went looking for answers, which took enormous amounts of personal time and energy, I discovered another 7 votes that were legally cast but not counted. Neither the Secretary of State or the Board of Elections admitted to losing the votes and both stonewalled my request for answers on the missing votes. Realizing that 155 voters had the option of voting twice and confusion surrounding how or if those votes were counted and also that 8 votes (I found 8 but there could be more) could just disappear was a real wake up call for me."
"I am confident in a win in 2018 because I’ve been working very hard on issues of importance to state and city residents since my last run. I believe, above all, that voters want their elected leaders to work hard, be accountable and take a clear position on important issues," said Norton. "I and my supporters (many of whom will run for office in Pawtucket and elsewhere in Rhode Island) have been working, studying and honing our skills together for the past year with a view towards upsetting the outdated and crony political system here in Rhode Island.
Norton released the following on his candidacy:
"It is with great enthusiasm that I announce a second run for State Representative of District 60 in Pawtucket. I and my supporters have been very active in our state and city since my first run in 2016. We have been working hard on issues important to Pawtucket and Rhode Island residents, haven't we! We've made so much progress on so many different issues!
We fought to restore bus passes for the disabled and elderly and in doing so saw first hand the struggles of so many residents to even make it to a soup kitchen to get a meal.
We fought to end lunch shaming in Pawtucket with great success and discovered a school committee chair and superintendent that were inconsiderate and willfully ignorant of children being humiliated in our schools.
We successfully fought alongside city councilors and neighborhood organizations to stop the construction of a toxic asphalt plant in a residential area of Pawtucket and discovered the power of community teamwork.
We fought to highlight the extreme unfairness of the car tax for Pawtucket and residents in relation to wealthier municipalities.
We fought to stop a dangerous piece of Trump-like and anti-immigrant legislation sponsored by a Pawtucket legislator.
We fought to stop the demolition of Hose Company No. 6 and are still fighting.
We fought to highlight the coverup (for nearly an entire year) and non-notification of Pawtucket school parents of a child rape in the Pawtucket school system. A rape for which the City of Pawtucket is now being sued for $3.5 million.
We fought to highlight the issue of child molestation charges at Cunningham Elementary School not being reported to Pawtucket school parents.
We continue to fight to keep the PawSox at McCoy and stop taxpayer money being used for the billionaire PawSox ownership group's new stadium.
I've said it before and I'll say it again: Politics is a Fight! I am so proud to be fighting alongside so many great Rhode Islanders on issues of such great importance and value!
Don't give up the fight!"
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