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Sam Zurier wins District 3 State Senate election

Democratic candidate’s platform includes improving public education, environmental justice

<p>Zurier, who faced Republican Alex Cannon in the special election, is “grateful to the voters in District 3 for entrusting” him as their new state senator</p>

Zurier, who faced Republican Alex Cannon in the special election, is “grateful to the voters in District 3 for entrusting” him as their new state senator

Democrat Sam Zurier captured 90.08% of total unofficial votes to defeat Republican Alex Cannon in the State Senate District 3 special general election Tuesday, according to the Rhode Island Board of Elections. 

An attorney and former City Council member, Zurier won by an overwhelming majority. He received 2,560 votes compared to Cannon’s 263, which made up 9.25% of the total votes. In total, 2,843 votes were cast during the election. 

“I’m grateful to the voters in District 3 for entrusting me with this responsibility,” Zurier told The Herald. “Once the results are certified I look forward to working in the RI Senate.”

While Zurier was concerned about voters not knowing “where to go or when to vote” because it was a special election, he is grateful that “enough voters did learn about the process and did participate.”


The election results will be certified over the coming days, followed by the swearing in of Zurier. 

“Once I’m sworn in, I’m going to be meeting with other senators and trying to learn as much as I can about the culture of the Senate,” Zurier said. 

Zurier previously told The Herald that as state senator, he hopes to increase funding and accountability for the public school system and promote environmental justice. During a virtual forum, Zurier described himself as a “pragmatic progressive” who supports market-based climate solutions, improving schools and investing federal funding from emergency COVID-19 relief back into the city.

“Public education is one of the central parts of my own values and (of) American values,” Zurier previously told The Herald. “In the ideal public school, we give every child the chance to realize they’re a version of the American dream.”

Cannon, a senior robotics process automation engineer at Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island, ran unopposed as the Republican candidate, The Herald previously reported. His platform centered on improving education and infrastructure, and also mentioned his opposition to defunding the police and his support of a small government. Cannon could not be reached for comment by press time.

Zurier won the Democratic primary election last month on Oct. 5, edging past Geena Pham, a public school teacher, progressive candidate and member of the RI Political Cooperative, by 300 votes . The other four candidates included Bret Jacob, a former staffer of Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza, Hilary Levey Friedman, a visiting assistant professor of education at the University, and Ray Rickman, a civil rights veteran and former state representative. 


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