Republican Sharon Gamba announced this week she is running for state representative for Dist. 32, the seat now held by Democrat Robert Craven. Gamba ran for the same seat in 2012, losing in the GOP primary against then-incumbent Laurence Ehrhardt by 18 votes.
Ehrhardt went on to lose to Craven by a 600-vote margin.
“The past two years have been frustrating for me but they have also been very motivating,” said Gamba in a press release. “Since the election of 2012, I have spent a significant amount of time studying and working on issues that matter most to the people of North Kingstown. As vice chairwoman of the North Kingstown Republican Party, I have gained greater insight into many of the issues that face North Kingstown and Rhode Island.”
Gamba and her husband own Cranston Collision Center. She also owns Once in a Blue Moon Antiques on Post Road in North Kingstown. It’s that business experience she said would be particularly valuable at the State House.
“I think they just don’t have anybody [at the State House] who can say, ‘This is how this would effect my business,’” Gamba said about legislation that comes before lawmakers in a phone interview Tuesday.
“The business climate in this state is just awful,” she said. “Is it easier to fight or is it easier to leave? I think it’s easier to fight, at least one more round.”
Gamba said she thinks it’s harder to start a business in Rhode Island today than it was when her husband first opened the collision shop in 1975.
“Our kids are leaving for greener pastures and that’s hard for a parent,” she said.
Gamba and her husband, Dennis Gamba, have two children and two grandchildren.“After spending many days at the State House during the 2013 session and testifying before House and Senate committees on many bills, I am completely committed to being part of the solution for a better Rhode Island for all residents,” she said.