Former White House aide, Gabe Amo, on potentially making history in Rhode Island House race

“Rhode Islanders deserve a congressperson who can be effective from day one,” the Democratic nominee for Rhode Island’s 1st Congressional District told theGrio.

Gabe Amo could become the first Black American and person of color to represent Rhode Island’s 1st Congressional District this fall.

“It feels great. I’m still very excited,” Amo told theGrio. “We are still feeling the energy of the victory.”

Rhode Island’s 1st Congressional District Democratic Candidate Gabe Amo. (Photo Credit: Gabe for Congress)

Last week, the 35-year-old former Biden-Harris White House staffer won the Democratic nomination in a primary election, beating dozens of other Democratic challengers.

He now has to defeat Republican challenger Gerry Leonard, a U.S. Marine veteran, in the general election slated for Nov. 7.

The two are vying for the seat previously occupied by former Democratic Rep. David Cicilline. The former congressman stepped down from his post during the summer to run the Rhode Island Foundation.

If elected, Amo would make history as the first Black man to represent the Rhode Island 1st Congressional District; however, he told theGrio that’s not his focus. 

“I am very proud of every aspect of my identity as a Black man, as someone who was the child of West African immigrants – my dad from Ghana, my mom from Liberia. All of that is important,” Amo shared. “But what is even more important is the job that I’m asking the people of Rhode Island and the 1st Congressional District to hire me for.”

In April 2023, the Rhode Island Democratic nominee left his post as deputy director of the White House Office of Intergovernmental Affairs and special assistant to President Joe Biden. During that time, he served as a liaison between the Biden-Harris administration and local officials across the country.

Gabe Amo smiles at an election results party after his win in the Democratic primary for Rhode Island’s 1st Congressional District, Tuesday, Sept. 5, 2023, in Pawtucket, R.I. (David Delpoio/Providence Journal via AP)

“It’s really important that I convert that experience of being the primary liaison between President Biden and mayors across the country,” he told theGrio. “Whether it’s your mass shooting, your extreme weather, or the investments from the Inflation Reduction Act…I want to do that right here at home.”

Amo told theGrio that if he wins in the upcoming November election, he aims to tackle a number of issues on his first day in office. He plans to “focus on preserving and strengthening social security and Medicare…fighting the climate crisis, prevent gun violence and fight for reproductive freedom.”

“I’m going to fight vigorously to make sure that people have an opportunity at every part of the ladder so that we can make sure our communities are strong and ready to take on the challenges of the future,” said Amo.

“Rhode Islanders deserve a congressperson who can be effective from day one.”

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