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/File Photo / RIPR

In a surprising blow to Rhode Island's political status quo, first-time candidate Marcia Ranglin-Vassell defeated House Majority Leader John DeSimone during primary voting Tuesday.

John Bender / RIPR

Rhode Islanders will go to the polls Tuesday to vote in a primary election. The general lack of high-profile races is expected to result in a low turnout of voters. 


Edward Fitzpatrick, who has been The Providence Journal's political columnist since 2008, is leaving to become the director of media and public relations for Roger Williams University.

The change is effective October 5.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Longtime North Providence Mayor Charles Lombardi faces a challenge from fellow Democrat Kristen Catanzaro in Tuesday's primary election. The race is the hardest-fought mayoral contest in this week’s election.

On a recent afternoon, North Providence Mayor Charles Lombardi showed off 19 acres of forested preservation land at Camp Meehan, near the town’s border with Smithfield. Sunlight gleamed nearby on the blue water of the Wenscott Reservoir, a scene so bucolic you’d never know that busy Mineral Spring Avenue is only about a mile away.

Happy Weekend and thanks for stopping by for my weekly column! As usual, your tips and comments are welcome, and you can follow me through the week on the twitters. Here we go.

With an election coming up Tuesday, WPRI.com politics and economics reporter Ted Nesi joins RIPR's Scott MacKay and Ian Donnis to discuss the top legislative primaries in Providence and Cranston.

Voters will decide 26 General Assembly primaries next Tuesday. WPRI.com politics and economics reporter Ted Nesi joins RI Public Radio political reporter Ian Donnis and political analyst Scott MacKay to break down the top races outside Providence.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Colonel Steven O’Donnell of the Rhode Island State Police is retiring later this month.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

The state plans to speed up an overhaul of bridges along the 6/10 Connector because they’re deteriorating faster than expected and will eventually pose a safety risk, Governor Gina Raimondo announced Wednesday during a Statehouse news conference.

Superior Court Judge Michael Silverstein on Tuesday approved the $25.6 million settlement over 38 Studios with two large financial firms, Wells Fargo Securities and Barclays Capital.

Happy September! The approach of fall brings plenty of fresh developments on the politics beat. So thanks for stopping by for my weekly column. As usual, your tips and comments are welcome, and you can follow me through the week on the twitters. Here we go.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Col. Steven O'Donnell of the RI State Police joins Political Roundtable this week to discuss the debate over the secrecy of the 38 Studios investigation; police-community relations; and diversity hiring within the State Police.

Col. Steven O'Donnell of the RI State Police joins Bonus Q&A to discuss a wide range of issues, including corruption, organized crime, gun violence and more.

RI For Gun Safety, a new 527 group funded by former Hasbro Chairman and CEO Alan Hassenfeld is spending tens of thousands on four legislative races ahead of Rhode Island's September 13th primary.

Hassenfeld has contributed $87,500 to the group.

Using that money, the group plans to send four direct mail pieces criticizing House Majority Leader John DeSimone's stance on gun-safety issues. DeSimone faces a primary challenge from Marcia Ranglin-Vassell.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

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