GOP challenges eligibility of utility commission nominee
PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — The Rhode Island Republican Party is challenging the eligibility of Democratic Gov. Gina Raimondo’s appointee to lead the state Public Utilities Commission nominee.
The party said in a statement Thursday that commission chair nominee Laura Olton is a Massachusetts resident who registered to vote at her cousin’s Barrington home last month after The Providence Journal reported she wasn’t a qualified elector.
The Providence Journal reports the party filed a legal challenge Thursday with the Barrington Board of Canvassers.
Commissioners must be eligible to vote in Rhode Island.
A Raimondo spokeswoman says the filing is politically motivated and Olton took steps to become an elector prior to a confirmation hearing and has committed to buying a home in the state.
She added it’s common for states to hire utility rate-setters from out of state.