For Immediate Release                                                                                                                                   

PROVIDENCE, RI — A. Ralph Mollis, Democratic candidate for Lieutenant Governor, is proposing an amendment to our state’s constitution that would require the Governor and Lieutenant Governor to run as a team. Mollis believes this will result in a more effective leadership team and streamlined government.

Mollis has vowed to submit legislation on the first day of the 2015 legislative session for a constitutional amendment.  If approved by the legislature, the constitutional amendment question would be placed on the 2016 ballot for voters to decide.  Massachusetts and four other states currently require the winners of their primaries to run jointly as a ticket.  If Rhode Island voters decide to support this amendment, the change would be in effect for the 2018 election.

“We all remember the lapse in leadership our state was forced to endure during the 2007 blizzard,” said Mollis.  “Governor Carcierci failed to communicate with Lieutenant Governor Roberts while visiting the Middle East.  As a result, essentially no one was in charge of our state during its time of need, and vital emergency management services, such as road clearing, were delayed.  Our citizens, and especially our children, deserve far better than the debacle of 2007.”

Mollis’ plan would require the winners of both the Democratic and Republican gubernatorial and lieutenant gubernatorial primaries to match-up once each are decided by their respective parties.  From there, the candidates will proceed to run as a team through the general election. Under proposed legislation, independent candidates for the governor’s office would decide their running mate by primary day.

An additional benefit of the joint ticket amendment would allow the governor to appoint the lieutenant governor to lead a major department or division of state government.  This would eliminate the need for additional administrative positions and provide for increased efficiency and tremendous cost savings.

“The scope and reach of the lieutenant governor’s office must be maximized to its fullest potential,” said Mollis. “Rhode Island would benefit immensely by having two, like-minded individuals who share the same vision for our state.  Working together as a team is the best way to keep our state moving forward, and ensure that our citizens receive the leadership and stewardship expected of those in higher office.”