New ideas can make Rhode Island a better place to live and work

No one is satisfied with the way things are going in this state. That’s what I hear going door to door to introduce myself as a candidate for state representative. Government must do a better job for all Rhode Islanders – especially the forgotten middle class.

That’s why I am running to be your representative from House District 72 in Middletown and Portsmouth.

We have to reduce taxes, root out corruption, become business-friendly, repair our roads and bridges, improve student performance and protect our environment, particularly our coastal waters.

Briefly, these are some of the issues I will work on for all of us:

◆ Reduce taxes: Households in Rhode Island pay 25 percent more in taxes than the national average. By curbing wasteful government spending, we can lower our tax revenue needs. The elimination of taxes on retirement income, particularly for military veterans, will enable our seniors to live more comfortably and not have to leave the state.

◆ Cut government waste: No one keeps an eye on how our tax dollars are spent. The establishment of an independent inspector general to guard against government waste, fraud and abuse will do just that.

◆ Fix infrastructure: Our roads and bridges are the worst in the country. There is an urgent need for better planning, budgeting and oversight for more cost-effective infrastructure repair and maintenance.

◆ Increase state funding for schools: The reduction in state aid to Middletown and Portsmouth schools has! created pressure to increase property taxes to make up the shortfall. I will work to restore more reasonable state funding.

◆ Improve our business climate: We are ranked one of the least business-friendly states in the nation and consequently we don’t attract and keep companies to provide good jobs for Rhode Islanders. The removal of unnecessary regulations, which are among the most burdensome in the country, will better serve all of us.

I am a lifelong Aquidneck Island resident. After graduating from Rogers High School, I earned a bachelor of science and master of business administration from Salve Regina University. Nancy, my wife of 24 years, is an educator at Portsmouth Middle School. Our daughter, Kaleigh, graduated from Portsmouth public schools and is attending Rhode Island College.

I have worked in the defense industry on Aquidneck Island for 23 years and am currently a manager at Rite-Solutions, a service-disabled-veteran-owned business with more than 200 employees.

If you give me the privilege of serving as your representative, I will listen carefully to your concerns and use the problem-solving skills I gained as a successful executive to make government work better for all of us.

For more information and to donate to my campaign, please go to I would appreciate your vote on Nov. 8.

Ken Mendonça, Portsmouth The writer is a Republican candidate for House District 72, Middletown and Portsmouth.