Jessica de la Cruz: R.I. needs a governor like Kalus
Embroidered on our state’s flag is the word “HOPE,” a reference to the biblical verse, “hope we have as an anchor in the soul.” For early colonists, Rhode Island truly provided hope and opportunity for those fleeing persecution. To them, Rhode Island symbolized a better life and a new beginning.
But sadly, many have lost sight of the hope our state once inspired. More than 80 years of Democratic control of the General Assembly has dimmed the hope that once shined so brightly from our shores. Rhode Island is currently ranked the 45th worst state in the country to do business, 44th in infrastructure, 44th for seniors to retire, 42nd in cost of living, and the 41st overall worst economy.
While this might seem daunting, there is still time to correct course. But it will take bold leadership. It will take an outsider, someone who won’t just go along to get along.
And fortunately, we have that kind of candidate on the ballot this year in Ashley Kalus, the Republican nominee for governor. Ashley is a fighter, a Golden Gloves boxing champion, a mom of three school-aged boys, a successful business owner, and a political outsider. In short, she is the fighter Rhode Island so desperately needs.
Ashley is neither a career politician nor an elitist. She came from nothing and knows what it’s like to struggle. She learned the importance of a hard day’s work as a teenager sweeping floors in a pizza shop and has since fought for everything she has.
I have had the privilege of getting to know Ashley and have been incredibly impressed by her vision for this state. She is deeply passionate and committed to making Rhode Island the best state in the country to live, work, and raise a family.
Ashley has a clear, realistic vision to get our state back on track, starting with reforming our broken education system.
Ashley Kalus believes education, a world-class public education, is the great equalizer. It allows for the pursuit of economic opportunity. She will fight to pay our teachers more, invest in technical education, rework the funding formula to ensure communities are not being left behind, and promote school choice because no child should ever be trapped in a failing school.
Ashley is also committed to making Rhode Island more competitive and creating a better business environment. With interstates, railways, deep water ports, an international airport, and 400 miles of coastline, she recognizes that businesses should be lining up to be here but can’t afford to. Ashley will work to lower taxes on individuals and businesses, cut red tape, and ensure we have a talented and educated workforce.
Ashley believes our current elected leaders have chosen to prioritize political issues that make headlines rather than ones that would actually provide relief to those in need. For example, Ashley was disgusted that Gov. McKee and the General Assembly failed to suspend the gas tax, despite prices soaring, crushing our lower and middle-income families.
Rhode Islanders deserve a governor who will fight for them, someone who will take on the lobbyists and special interests and make the hard choices to get this state back on track. Simply put, they deserve a governor like Ashley Kalus.
I’m voting for Ashley in November, and I ask you to join me to help restore hope for Rhode Islanders.
Jessica de la Cruz, Senate minority whip, represents District 23, Burrillville, Glocester and North Smithfield.