DSA Member Nirva LaFortune Wins City Council Primary in Providence, Rhode Island
Nirva Rebecca LaFortune won special Democratic City Council primary in Providence’s Ward 3 with 1,147 votes. Runners-up Mark Santow won 339 votes and Daniel Chaika won 223 votes. LaFortune moves on to face Republican David Lallier Jr. and independent Chris Reynolds in the general election on August 16.
The August 16 special election was called after the incumbent, Kevin Jackson, lost a recall vote with a whopping 91% of voters voting against him. The recall effort was triggered by Johnson’s indictment for embezzling $127,000 from a youth sports organization and after 2,600 voters in the ward signed a recall petition, more than the 20% registered voter threshold.
LaFortune — who was born in Haiti and helps lead an anti-racist anti-Trump resistance group — raised twice as much money as her opponents combined and used that money to develop a voter database for her campaign. She enters the general election as the front-runner since a Republican has not been elected to Providence’s city council since 1986 and no independent has won a council seat since 1990. Her primary election victory is a vindication of Democratic Socialist of America’s strategy of running to win within the Democratic Party where it makes sense to do so.