Ian Donnis

Political Reporter

Ian Donnis has been the political reporter for Rhode Island Public Radio since 2009. The Washington Post has called him one of Rhode Island’s best political reporters. Besides reporting, Ian tweets at @IanDon, hosts RIPR’s weekly Political Roundtable, and contributes to the station’s On Politics blog.

He was for many years a regular panelist on WPRI/WNAC-TV’s Newsmakers, is an occasional guest on RI-PBS' A Lively Experiment, and has been a political debate panelist for each of Rhode Island's three commercial television stations.

Ian previously worked for the Providence Phoenix, the Worcester Telegram & Gazette, and The Associated Press. His reporting has been recognized by the AP, the New England Press Association, the Rhode Island Press Association, and Rhode Island for Community & Justice.

Ways to Connect

Ian Donnis / RIPR

A first-time candidate is challenging one of the most powerful Democrats in the General Assembly, House Majority Leader John DeSimone. 


Robert Kando, the executive director of the state’s Board of Elections, is out. In a four-to-two vote the group chose to terminate the embattled head.Kando has a bumpy track record at the state Board of Elections. In 2013, he unveiled legislation on behalf of the board without informing board members.

More recently, Kando has been repeatedly suspended as the board’s executive director. One of the suspensions came after Kando did not take management classes ordered as part of an earlier suspension.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

The residency case involving state Rep. John Carnevale has resulted in an open seat in the House of Representatives. 

August is on the way out, and legislative primary races are coming up fast. Thanks for stopping by for my weekly column. As usual, you can send your tips and comments my way, and follow me through the week on the twitters. Here we go.

Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza joins Political Roundtable this week to discuss Kennedy Plaza and panhandlers; Providence finances; and contributions to the city by nonprofit institutions.

Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza joins Bonus Q&A to discuss the city's pension fund, the ongoing dispute with Providence firefighters, the outlook for city schools, and much more.

Ian Donnis/File Photo / RIPR

Shawna Lawton, one of two Republicans running for the chance to challenge House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello, is drawing attention to how her GOP rival, Steven Frias, has volunteered for an organization that has received legislative grants.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

The state Commerce Corporation announced Tuesday it has reached a $25.6 million settlement with two of the defendants in the state's lawsuit over 38 Studios, Wells Fargo Securities and Barclays Capital.

The doldrums of (mostly) slow news days are upon us, even with just slightly more than three weeks until Rhode Island's September 13 primary. So thanks for stopping by. As usual, you can share your tips and comments, and follow me through the week on the twitters. Here we go.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Cranston Mayor Allan Fung joins Political Roundtable this week to discuss fallout from last year's police scandal, the GOP primary between Steven Frias and Shawna Lawton, and whether more can be done to deliver answers on 38 Studios.

Cranston Mayor Allan Fung joins Bonus Q&A to discuss a range of issues involving Cranston.

Elisabeth Harrison / RIPR

An advisory is the lowest of four drought designations.

State Water Resources Board Chairwoman Susan Licardi says the drought advisory is meant to raise awareness about current conditions. State officials are urging Rhode Islanders to take precautionary measures to conserve water and to be aware of the dry conditions.

State recommendations include avoiding over-watering of lawns, and not watering yards during the hottest part of the day.


The Providence Journal is facing further cuts through the latest in a series of buyouts offered by the newspaper's owner, GateHouse Media, RI Public Radio has learned.

Under the terms of the latest buyout, ProJo employees could receive between 13 and 17 weeks of pay, depending on their length of service with the company. Workers learned of the offer Tuesday.

[UPDATE August 17: The voluntary severance offer was announced in a memo from GateHouse CEO Kirk Davis, addressed to "all GateHouse Media Employees," according to a copy of the memo obtained by RIPR.

Rhode Island Working Families has endorsed four more Democratic General Assembly candidates ahead of the state's September 13 primary.