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Edwards Tapped for Majority Whip Post

Portsmouth and the East Bay has some representation higher up in the House of Representatives thanks to some leadership shuffling.

Rep. John G. Edwards (D-Dist. 70, Portsmouth, Tiverton) has ascended to the rank of House majority whip under the leadership of new Speaker of the House Nicholas Mattiello of Cranston.

"It is truly a privilege to serve on the speaker’s newly assembled team,”  Edwards said. “I am pleased that I will be able to use the leadership skills I have cultivated as senior deputy majority leader to serve at the behest of Speaker Mattiello and my colleagues in the House. I have a great deal of confidence that we will be able to bring creative and practical ideas to the forefront in order to rebuild what was once a thriving economy here in Rhode Island. More importantly, my constituents will continue to have a strong voice in the chamber. I have fought for their interests and the needs of all Rhode Islanders to the best of my ability since I was first elected in 2008. In that regard, nothing has changed.”

Edwards has been a staunch opponent of tolls on the Sakonnet River Bridge and is a co-sponsor of a bill that would create a statewide infrastructure fund to pay for major road and bridge repairs as well as guarantee the Sakonnet will remain toll free in perpetuity.

According to a release, He has been a strong advocate for government transparency, tenants’ rights, and cracking down on industrial polluters, among other issues. He was also the lead sponsor for the 2012 bill that decriminalized the possession of small amounts of marijuana.

Prior to his 2008 victory in the District 70 race, Representative Edwards served on the Tiverton Town Council. Since he became a state representative, he has served on the Labor, Small Business and Veterans’ Affairs committees. He is a 1983 graduate of Northeastern University, graduated from St. George’s School in 1976, and is a 1975 graduate of Le Centre Scholaire St. Marc in Lyon, France.

He and his wife, Donna, have three children: John, Kelsey and Mae. A project manager for the construction firm H.V. Collins Company, he is past chairman of Associated Builders and Contractors Rhode Island, and has been active in the Tiverton Land Trust, Friends of the Tiverton Library, Caritas RI, the Tiverton Lions Club, the Ancient Order of the Hibernians, the National Eagle Scout Association, Save the Bay and Clean Water Action.
Brain Mederble March 30, 2014 at 04:26 PM
Jim, do you really know how foolish you sound? Are you are implying that Rep. Edwards was somehow undecided or for the tolls and was swayed to his no toll position because it was the popular thing to do? If you can find one shred of evidence that Rep. Edwards was not opposed to the tolls from the start I will apologize. Otherwise, I will continue to think you have no clue what you are talking about.
Iron Man March 30, 2014 at 05:36 PM
Jim, I'm not saying the petition wasn't sort of important. I personally signed it 6-8 times. But the petition died out almost a year ago and Jay has kept right on working since then.
Abe Lincoln March 31, 2014 at 08:19 AM
You should all listen to Jim L! He will fight and and advance for you all! I can't get McClellan to do a GD thing!
C sanders April 01, 2014 at 08:06 AM
There's no doubt Jim made many people aware of the tolls that would have been in the dark . Great Job Jim L !

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