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Alum to lead newest R.I. political party

The newly minted Moderate Party of Rhode Island has hired Christine Hunsinger MPA'08 as its new executive director, the party announced in a Sept. 18 press release.

Since the party, whose platform focuses on what it calls "the four Es:" economy, ethics, education and the environment, was formed in early 2008, it has pursued official status in court and at the State House and collected signatures on the street.

It challenged state requirements for ballot access in court, saying that a Jan. 1 start date and signature threshold placed an undue burden on new parties, and pushed for bills in the General Assembly to change the requirements.

In May, a judge struck down the Jan. 1 start date provision, but left in place the 5 percent signature requirement, which numbers about 23,500 signatures. The state Senate passed a bill lowering that number to 10,000, but the House did not pass the companion bill before it left for the summer recess.

Still, the party submitted over 30,000 signatures last month and the board of elections certified enough of them to qualify the party as official.

The party is now looking forward to the 2010 elections. The group hopes to front candidates for every seat in the state legislature and for governor, Hunsinger said.

A veteran of political campaigns, Hunsinger said her job will entail, among other things, recruiting candidates and building a grassroots foundation to support them.



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