House Speaker Fox retains seat

Contributing Writer
Wednesday, November 7, 2012


House Speaker Gordon Fox, D-Providence, defeated his Independent opponent Mark Binder in a 57.1 to 42.4 percent victory to represent District 4 in the State House. Fox received 3,328 votes, and Binder received 2,472 votes as of press time.

Though a sitting Rhode Island House Speaker had not lost re-election since 1906, the campaign season was challenging for Fox. He received negative publicity after supporting 38 Studios, Curt Schilling’s video game company, filed for bankruptcy and cost the state millions of dollars. Fox also lost support after failing to pass any legislation supporting marriage equality. 

“In recent years, he’s grown somewhat distant from his constituency even as his power has grown,” Providence College Political Science Professor Tony Affigne ’76 PhD’92 told The Herald in October. Binder has cited this disconnect as his reason for challenging Fox. Binder also criticized Fox for his failed initiative to bring a vote to the floor for marriage equality – though Fox has promised to do so – as well as Fox’s failure to pass a bill reforming payday lending.

“I have been a proud Democrat my whole life and always support the Democratic philosophy,” Fox wrote in a statement released Monday. “That is why I work so hard on the issues that matter most to the voters of District 4: education, jobs and the economy, marriage equality and women’s reproductive rights.” 

Senate President M. Teresa Paiva Weed, D-Jamestown and Newport, defeated Republican contender Geoffrey William Cook for the Senate District 13 seat. Weed received 7,063 votes while Cook received 2,957.

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