PROVIDENCE – Newly elected House Speaker Nicholas A. Mattiello on Tuesday promised he would focus on tackling his “No. 1 issue, jobs and the economy.
“Having the highest unemployment rate in nation is truly unacceptable. Business as usual is unacceptable,” Mattiello said in an acceptance speech from the House rostrum. “I am committed to work with businesses to grow jobs and put people back to work.”
Lawmakers elected the Cranston Democrat and attorney House speaker by a vote of 61-6 over the other nominee, Rep. Michael J. Marcello, D-Scituate. There were six abstentions and two members did not cast a vote.
Mattiello, 50, replaces Gordon D. Fox, D-Providence, who resigned as speaker last week after state and federal law enforcement officials raided his home and Statehouse office as part of an unspecified investigation. Mattiello was majority leader under Fox.
Joining Mattiello's new leadership team is Majority Leader John J. DeSimone, D-Providence, Majority Whip John G. Edwards, D-Tiverton and Deputy Majority Whip Joseph S. Almeida, D-Providence.