To the Editor:
As an unaffiliated voter, I like to make sure I am fully informed about the candidates running.
This year, I will be voting in the Democratic Primary on September 12 because the Republican Party on all levels, especially since 2016, has disappointed me with their agenda or lack thereof.
I looked into all the competitive races on the Democratic Primary ballot on September 12. The race for the Ward 1 primary for City Council between Lammis J. Vargas and Jeffrey K. Gale was particularly interesting. What I discovered from searching on the Internet about Ms. Vargas astounded me.
According to RIvoters.com, Ms. Vargas switched from being registered as a Republican to Democrat in January 2015. Switching parties is not unusual. People should certainly have the right to change their minds and their parties. What astounded me was information Ms. Vargas did not write in her campaign material about what she did as a registered Republican. Ms. Vargas was employed by the Rhode Island Republican party from 2007 until 2010, first as Director of Operations and then Executive Director.
In a campaign letter Ms. Vargas sent a few weeks ago, she stated that she was a “Chafee Republican.” but that “the GOP was becoming increasingly hostile” to her stance of being pro-choice, pro-marriage equality, and pro-gun reform. However, the Republican Party held these positions long before Ms. Vargas became employed by them. Surely, she would have known she would have to advocate those positions if she was on the payroll of the Republican Party.
And, in fact, she did. In an interview I found online from 2008, Ms. Vargas, as the Director of Operations for the RI GOP, did not advocate for the views she now claims to hold but, rather, against issues such as a woman’s right to choose. This information also raises the question: Why did she wait so long to leave the Republican Party after Lincoln Chafee did in 2007? Especially since she ran as a Democrat for a city-wide Council seat in 2016, just 18 months after she left the Republican Party.
It makes me wonder where Ms. Vargas really stands on issues important to me and Democrats this election year.