PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Congressman Ritchie Torres (D-NY) today announced his endorsement of Lt. Governor Sabina Matos for Congress in the special election for Rhode Island’s 1st District. Torres made history in 2021 as one of the first openly gay Black men elected to Congress and the first openly gay Afro-Latino elected to Congress. Sabina Matos would make history as the first Afro-Latina ever elected to Congress.
“I’m proud to support Lt. Governor Sabina Matos for Congress in the upcoming special election for Rhode Island’s First District. With so much at stake in Washington, we need people who will stand up to MAGA Republicans who are threatening the rights we hold dear, including reproductive freedom, LGBTQ+ rights, and our democracy. Sabina is exactly the kind of person we need to step up and serve. She is a proven fighter who knows how to get things done and will make a difference for Rhode Island. It’s time for Congress to welcome our first Afro-Latina and I’m looking forward to working hard to help her win this historic campaign,” said Congressman Ritchie Torres (D-NY).
Last month, Matos’ campaign released a memo detailing the findings of a new poll that shows Lt. Governor Matos with a commanding, double-digit lead in the special primary election. Matos leads the crowded field with 22% of the vote, besting nearest competitor Aaron Regunburg who polls second with 9% support. Earlier this month, former RI-01 candidate Nick Autiello’s campaign also released the findings of a poll that shows Matos leading Regunberg 20-12 on the initial ballot and 22-13 on the final ballot, after hearing messages from the candidates.
Sabina Matos continues to have strong momentum in the special election for Rhode Island’s First District. Matos has earned key support from organized labor – the Laborers, the Building and Construction Trades Council, Plumbers and Pipefitters Local 51, Iron Workers Local 37, and Painters District Council 11. She has also earned endorsements from key groups, including EMILYs List, Elect Democratic Women, Congressional Hispanic Caucus BOLD PAC, Latino Victory Fund, Defend the Vote, PODER PAC, Vote Mama PAC, and Her Bold Move – as well as dozens of local leaders, including Myrth York and former Lt. Governor Elizabeth Roberts.
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ABOUT SABINA MATOS
Like many Rhode Islanders, Sabina knows what it’s like to work hard and, at times, struggle to make ends meet. Immigrating to the United States from the Dominican Republic at the age of 20 and determined to secure the American dream, Sabina worked at a clothing factory before moving to Providence – where she learned English while working in a jewelry factory.
Sabina graduated from Rhode Island College, and became deeply involved in her community working to do something about the high cost of housing. In 2010 as a young mom, Sabina ran for and was elected to the Providence City Council. During her campaign, Sabina remembers being asked why a mom with young kids would run for office. Her response: “Why not?”
Sabina served 10 years on the Council, championing an agenda to make life better for all of us. Her initiatives took direct aim at the barriers facing Providence households: building housing that hard-working Rhode Islanders can afford, supporting women leaders, and protecting reproductive freedom.
Since 2021, Sabina has served as Rhode Island’s Lieutenant Governor, where she’s advocated to expand voting rights and for stronger gun safety legislation to protect our communities. She’s worked closely with the McKee Administration to make historic investments in addressing our climate crisis and affordable housing and been a consistent champion for women and to protect reproductive freedom.
Lt. Governor Matos has been a trailblazer in her public service to Rhode Island as both the first Afro-Latina to be President of the Providence City Council and hold statewide office in Rhode Island. If elected, she would become the first Democratic woman and first person of color elected to Congress in Rhode Island’s history – as well as the nation’s first Afro-Latina elected to Congress.
Sabina and her husband live in Providence with their two children.