Regunberg Applied to Harvard Law in ‘16 While in Office, Deferred Before Lt. Governor Bid

Monday, April 09, 2018


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Aaron Regunberg

Rhode Island State Representative and candidate for Lieutenant Governor Aaron Regunberg applied to Harvard Law School while serving in the Rhode Island General Assembly -- but said that President Donald Trump's victory in 2016 changed his mind about pursuing the advanced degree after being accepted.

Then, Regunberg declared his intention to run for Lt. Governor in the fall of 2017 for the 2018 election. 

Regunberg, who graduated from Brown University, and started the Providence Student Union with the assistance of a fellowship program through Brown's Swearer Center, was first elected in 2014 to the General Assembly for District 4 -- former Speaker of the House Gordon Fox's seat, after Fox resigned and was sentenced to federal prison after pleading guilty to bribery and fraud. 

Now, Regunberg is challenging incumbent Lt. Governor Dan McKee in the Democratic primary. 

Eyeing Move

"Two years ago -- in 2016 -- I was interested in exploring or pursuing how a law degree could be useful in elevating the progressive [interests] I was dedicated to," Regunberg told GoLocal. "In 2016 I applied [to Harvard Law School], and I was accepted. Then the 2016 Presidential election happened. So I thought it was important to put my time and energy into organizing and state politics and defending Rhode Island from Washington."

Regunberg said as he deferred starting in the fall of 2017, that he would be expected to start in the fall of 2018 -- but that would not be happening with this election season. 

"I'm not starting in the fall of 2018. It's not something that I'm thinking about now," said Regunberg. "I had a time when I was excited what a law degree [could mean]. Back when I was thinking about law school, the decision was not to resign my [State Representative] seat. It was to continue my seat and continue the academic work."

"The current Lt. Governor pursued an advanced degree while in office," said Regunberg.

McKee, who was first elected in 2000 as Mayor of Cumberland, was re-elected to the position in 2002 -- but was defeated in 2004 in the Democratic primary by David Iwuc, who made McKee's absenteeism pursuing a higher degree a main campaign issue. 

McKee then went on to win back his seat in 2006, serving as Mayor until he ran for -- and was elected -- Lt. Governor in 2014. 


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