Newport City Councilor and local business owner John Florez announced today that he will file paperwork to run in the special election for the vacated District 13 State Senate seat. The seat opened up with the resignation of Senate President Theresa Paiva-Weed.

“One of the greatest honors of my life was awarded to me by the people of Newport when you trusted me to represent you as an at-large City Councilor over the past two and a half years,” stated Florez. “The opportunity to give back to the community that has given me so much has been beyond rewarding. During my tenure as a Newport City Councilor, I’m proud of the advances we’ve made and the bold initiatives we’ve implemented. I truly believe we have made Newport a better city to live, work and raise a family. I also believe that I can serve the people of Newport and Jamestown in a greater capacity as your next State Senator. That’s why today I’m formally declaring my candidacy for the Rhode Island State Senate from the 13th District.”

In his time on the Council, Florez has made revitalizing Newport’s economy a top priority. He played an instrumental role in crafting the Innovation Hub proposal – a project with the potential to transform Newport’s economy from a seasonal tourist-driven economy to a year-round robust economy that attracts high-paying jobs with good benefits. He successfully fought for tougher environmental regulations and has consistently stood up for Newport’s children, public schools, seniors and working families.

“If given the honor of representing you at the State House as your next Senator, I will continue to advocate for Newport and Jamestown’s working families, our children, our public schools, our seniors, and our environment,” Florez continued. “Over the next few months, I look forward to discussing and debating the issues that are important to the people of Newport and Jamestownt. This will be a people-driven campaign. I will be walking the district, visiting businesses, meeting people and hearing your concerns. Together, we can keep moving Newport and Jamestown forward.”

Florez is the founder of Drupal Connect, an award-winning, nationally-recognized technology company, located on Bellevue Avenue in Newport. He was first elected to the City Council in 2014, and re-elected in 2016. John is the founder of the Newport Junior Tennis League, a free tennis program for children of low-income families, and is active with other charitable groups, including the Potter League. He is on the Board of the Directors for Boys Town of New England.

Florez lives in Newport’s Fifth Ward with his wife Karen and two children, Martha, 12 and Nefi, 9.