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

House Majority Leader Joseph Shekarchi of Warwick joins Political Roundtable to discuss his new leadership role, whether Donald Trump's showing in RI will lead to a bigger GOP push in 2018, and a development proposed for the former I-195 land.

House Majority Leader Joseph Shekarchi joins Bonus Q&A to discuss his new leadership role and a range of other issues.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

In a sign that the 11-member Republican cohort in the House will take a more combative tone, Rep. Patricia Morgan (R-West Warwick) has won a narrow vote to succeed Brian Newberry as House minority leader.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Governor Gina Raimondo said she's not sure what to expect from the administration of President-elect Donald Trump, although she's concerned about the possible repeal of Obamacare, likes Trump's plan to boost federal infrastructure spending, and vows that Rhode Island will protect the civil rights of its citizens.

A Superior Court judge has ordered Hewlett Packard Enterprise to continue its disputed work on the DMV computer system.

Superior Court Judge Michael Silverstein issued a temporary restraining order requested by the state. That means Hewlett Packard Enterprise, or HPE, must legally keep working on the long-delayed multi-million dollar computer system for the DMV.

Silverstein ruled the state would suffer immediate and irreparable harm if work on the DMV computer system ground to a halt. He scheduled further arguments in the case for December 1.

Expect the unexpected when it comes to politics, right? Yes and no. While Tuesday's presidential election offered a big surprise, General Assembly results in the Ocean State mostly represent a lack of change. So thanks for stopping by for my weekly column. Your tips and comments remain welcome, and you can follow me through the week on the twitters. Here we go.

The panel discusses Trump's victory, the battle between Speaker Mattiello and Steven Frias, and why not much changed in the General Assembly as far as Democratic incumbents.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello emerged with a 65-vote lead over Republican rival Steven Frias after the state Board of Elections counted mail ballots Thursday, but Frias said he does not accept the results and wants an investigation of possible vote fraud in the election.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Republican challenger Steven Frias edged Democratic House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello in voting Tuesday, but Mattiello said he received more than enough mail ballots to ensure him a victory. With the mail ballots yet to be certified by the state Board of Elections, Frias did not concede defeat.

Unofficial results showed Frias beat Mattiello by 147 voters through tallies cast on voting machines. Mattiello's campaign team said the speaker was the choice of more than 500 people who used mail ballots to vote, in what they called an insurance policy for a Mattiello victory.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Democrats have dominated the General Assembly since the 1930s. So will an angry electorate produce Republican gains on Smith Hill?

Let’s start in House District 12, which includes the heavily Latino Washington Park section of Providence. Being able to speak Spanish comes in handy when independent state rep candidate Luis Vargas goes knocking on doors in search of votes.


Democratic House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello and his Republican rival, Steven Frias, squared off during a televised debate Friday. Cranston voters will pick between the two candidates on Tuesday.

Mattiello and Frias fought on a series of issues during the 30-minute debate on WPRI-TV, Channel 12. Mattiello says tax cuts he’s supported have moved up Rhode Island about seven ranks from the bottom in a national business survey. Frias responded by saying that’s like going from an F grade to an F-minus.

Fasten your seatbelt for what promises to be an impactful Election Day next Tuesday. In the meantime, thanks for stopping by for my weekly column. As usual, your comments and tips are welcome, and you can follow me through the week on the twitters. Here we go.

State Rep. Blake Filippi (I-New Shoreham) joins Bonus Q&A to discuss the volume of independents running for the General Assembly, the constitutionality of truck tolls, how power might be more widely shared in the House of Representatives, and much more.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Governor Gina Raimondo said Thursday she picked the new colonel of the state police based on her qualifications and her ability to bring more diversity to the agency.