I have lived in this beautiful state my entire life, so it makes me sad when we rank so low on many national polls. I am competitive and I want us to be healthy and strong enough to compete. I am pro-RI, pro-family, and pro-small business, but we currently face a $200 million deficit with a $9.6 billion state budget. We must be more efficient with how we spend your money. We need a line item veto, a lower sales tax, a lower minimum corporate tax, and an independent inspector general. If we follow the course my opponent’s movement is charting, we will stay in last place, and even potentially capsize.
My slogan is hard work. I work hard and have survived as a RI small business owner for over 30 years. I am a positive, creative person, and have devoted thousands of volunteer hours over the past ten years working with, and for, my community. This is not a glamorous job I seek. My spouse, Senator Mark Gee, fielded hundreds of calls and emails, went to meetings and ceremonies across four towns in addition to many late nights at the Capitol. I want to publicly thank him for serving honorably for a decade — as an East Greenwich Fire District Commissioner, Town Council member, and most recently as our State Senator for District 35.
The late Senator John Chafee, an early champion of the environment and health care, was the second to last Republican to represent RI in the Senate. He died in office in 1999 having served for 23 years. I remember watching then President Bill Clinton deliver his eulogy for Senator Chafee, and when he spoke these eloquent words: “He embodied the decent center. For him, civility was not simply a matter of personal manners. He believed it was essential to the preservation of our democratic system.” So simply put. If we do not commit to restoring civility in our towns, our state, and our country during these divisive times, we will not be able to move forward.
There are the 38 seats in the RI Senate. Thirty-two of these are currently filled by Democrats, and four by Republicans (two are empty due to resignations — one from each party). Roger Williams’ original lively experiment was based on tolerance. Our current lively experiment cannot continue without debate, dialogue, and diversity of ideas. Life is balance. Business is balance. Politics should be balanced and I will help bring that balance to the State House.
I have hope for RI, and hope for your vote on November 6.
Dana W. Gee
Senate District 35