by Garrett Frisk
As Diamond Eye Candidate Report previously noted, IT professional Raymond McKay was the first Republican to declare for the 2024 Rhode Island Senate race. For months, McKay had the Republican primary himself as he seeks to take on incumbent Democratic Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, who is running for re-election to a fourth term in office. However, McKay now has company, as a polarizing figure in Rhode Island politics has joined the race; Patricia Morgan, who has served in the Rhode Island House of Representatives for over a decade, declared her campaign earlier this month. Morgan was first elected to the state House in 2010 by a small margin, and continued winning close races to keep her seat. In 2016, she rose to the position of House Minority Leader, and declared she'd run for governor in 2018. However, she lost the primary to former Cranston mayor Allan Fung by a 16-point margin. Disapproving of Fung, Morgan bucked her party by endorsing independent candidate Joe Trullo in the general election, and was removed from her position as Minority Leader only a few hours later. Democrat James Jackson flipped the state House seat that Morgan had left behind to run for governor, but she returned in 2020 and unseated him to return to the legislature. Since then, Morgan has attracted controversy multiple times, including her 2021 tweet claiming that she lost "a black friend" due to critical race theory. Due to Morgan's icy relationship with her party, it's unlikely that the Republican establishment will back her, but she still stands a strong chance of winning the primary. Her campaign website can be found here.