After narrowly being defeated by Rep. Patricia Morgan in the House District 26 race in 2012, lawyer, fraud examiner and West Warwick Pension Board Chairman Nick Denice is once again in the running for the seat.
Denice announced his candidacy on Wednesday and said he will have a "laser beam focus" on jobs and the economy.
"My pledge to the voters is very simple: I will work every day to grow our economy, create jobs, and do whatever it takes to put Rhode Island back on top again.”
Denice described himself as a working class kid that has lived his whole life in West Warwick.
“My family came to West Warwick about 100 years ago among the waves of French and Italian immigrants who came to work in the mills," he said. "Like many people in this town, we have strong roots that go back many generations. We still live in the part of the family’s original homestead in Phenix.”
He holds a Juris Doctor
from Roger Williams University School of Law, a masters and bachelors degree in
accounting from Bryant University, and has worked for the world’s largest
accounting firm, PricewaterhouseCoopers, providing tax services to Fortune 500
Denice graduated from West Warwick High School where he proudly notes that he was a member of the school’s last team to win a state championship in Boys Soccer and was the class salutatorian.
“I look back on those days very fondly. Sports have always been important to me and I continue to volunteer as a youth soccer coach in West Warwick as a way of giving back," he said. "I got a great education in West Warwick that gave me the skills to succeed. I want to work to make sure our community is equipped to ensure that all students and young people have the same opportunities that I had."
As chairman of the pension board, Denice said he has skills and experience that will translate when elected. He noted the passage of the budget by a 4-1 margin in that town last week, which he said sent a clear message.
“Over the last 18 months, I worked
successfully with the Town Council on an historic pension reform agreement that
will save the Town $5 million and achieve the first fully-funded pension
contribution in over a decade," he said. "Many people thought it could not be done, but we have now regained
control over the Town’s finances and have gone a long way towards solving a
very difficult problem and avoiding a state takeover and potential bankruptcy.”
At the state level, Denice said he will outline a bold agenda for economic growth and job creation. His top priorities include the creation of a Small Business Bill of Rights, targeted tax cuts, increasing investments in historic tax credits, further investments in education and our infrastructure, and the expansion of workforce development programs.
“We need to restore the cuts made to state aid that have caused our property taxes to skyrocket. In addition, we need to continue revitalizing our neighborhoods through development backed by historic tax credits like the Harris and Lippitt Mills projects. I will work tirelessly to improve our economic competitiveness and fight for the middle class at the state house," he said.
Denice, a Democrat, said that the district needs a fresh voice and a fresh start.
“Young people graduate and move away from Rhode Island to pursue career opportunities elsewhere; small businesses struggle to overcome the burden of the heavy regulations and bureaucratic red tape imposed on them by our state; and sad stories like the 38 Studios debacle make us seem like an unattractive place to visit, open a business, make a home, or start a family. We need a new voice and forward thinking leaders to reverse these trends and get Rhode Island back on top again.”