• GOP challenges eligibility of utility commission nominee

    Updated:
    PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) - The Rhode Island Republican Party is challenging the eligibility of Democratic Gov. Gina Raimondo's appointee to lead the state Public Utilities Commission nominee.

    The party said in a statement Thursday that commission chair nominee Laura Olton is a Massachusetts resident who registered to vote at her cousin's Barrington home last month after The Providence Journal reported she wasn't a qualified elector.

    The Providence Journal reports the party filed a legal challenge Thursday with the Barrington Board of Canvassers.

    Commissioners must be eligible to vote in Rhode Island.

    A Raimondo spokeswoman says the filing is politically motivated and Olton took steps to become an elector prior to a confirmation hearing and has committed to buying a home in the state.

    She added it's common for states to hire utility rate-setters from out of state.

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