Representative Marvin Abney (D – Newport) was selected chairman of the powerful House Finance Committee today at a hastily called caucus meeting to replace Representative Ray Gallison who resigned his seat amid a cloud of scandal that reportedly relates to prostitution.
Representative Abney has enjoyed a meteoric rise in Rhode Island politics serving the residents of Newport and Middletown in District 73 since his election in November 2012.
Born on Nov. 10, 1949, he attended Dunbar High School in Texarkana, Texas, before completing his bachelor’s degree in public administration at Stephen F. Austin State University in 1975. Representative Abney earned a master’s of management from Webster University in 1982; a master’s of business administration from the University of Rhode Island in 2000. and a certificate of advanced graduate study in educational leadership from Johnson and Wales University in 2005. He also attended the Command and General Staff College in Munich, Germany in the late 1980s.
In addition to his duties as a legislator, Representative Abney also serves on the Board of Governors for the Newport Health Care Corporation, the Board of Corporators for BankNewport, the Vestry & Finance Committee at St. John’s Church and the Executive Board for the Narragansett Boy Scouts Council.
Representative Abney has a long history of involvement in community organizations and board, including the Newport Zoning Board of Review, Coggeshall Elementary School Improvement Committee, Salve Regina University’s Internal Review Board, First Night Newport and the Martin Luther King Jr. Center, among others.
The representative is a retired Major of the United States Army after a 20-year Army career, including a stint as the company commander at NATO Headquarters in Belgium. He also retired from the Rhode Island Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, where he held the position of executive assistant to the commissioner.
He lives in Newport with his wife, Cheryl Lynn (Amado). He is the father of Marvin L. Abney II, U.S. Army Capt. Christian A. Abney and Tess A. Abney. He is the grandfather of three: Sierra, Jade and Mia.