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

Rhode Island House Majority Leader Joseph Shekarchi (D-Warwick) announced Thursday he's seeking re-election to the House of Representatives and supporting Warwick City Council president Joe Solomon for the mayoral vacancy being created by Scott Avedisian's move to be CEO of RIPTA.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Matt Brown has decided to run for governor in Rhode Island as a Democrat.

Brown, who served as the state's Democratic secretary of state for one term before an ill-fated U.S. Senate run in 2006, had been considering pursuing a campaign as an independent. He said his conversations with voters pushed him to run as a Democrat.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Rhode Island House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello concedes he made a mistake by exceeding state campaign finance laws by about $72,000 in the midst of a very tight re-election fight for his Cranston state representative seat in 2016. But he said the violation did not make a difference in the outcome of his 85-vote win over Republican Steven Frias.

Mattiello said he had more than enough at the time to draw the $72,000 from his personal campaign account, and he likened the campaign violation documented by the state Board of Elections to using the wrong checking account to pay a bill.

Former U.S. Sen. Lincoln Chafee said he's highly likely to make a Democratic primary challenge to Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse this year.

"I'm 90 percent there," Chafee told Rhode Island Public Radio, adding that he has not made a final decision.

Chafee, 65, said supporters of U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, who ran for president as a Democrat in 2016, approached him months ago and encouraged him to run for the Senate.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza unveiled a $745 million budget proposal Tuesday that avoids tax increases, maintains level-funding for city schools, and the mayor said, prepares Rhode Island's capital city for growth and success.

Ian Donnis/File Photo / RIPR

Rhode Island state Representative Michael Chippendale (R-Foster) has apologized for calling a survivor of the Parkland, Florida, school shooting a “dummy.”

In a statement on Tuesday, Chippendale said it was inappropriate to refer to Emma Gonzalez that way.

Chippendale says he’s sorry he used a tweet earlier this week to make the remark. The tweet followed Gonzalez’s reaction to a shooting at a Waffle House restaurant in Nashville that left four people dead.

Chippendale said he will never apologize for zealously defending the Second Amendment.

Only about two months remain until the filing deadline to run for public office in Rhode Island this year, so a more active phase of campaign season is approaching. With that in mind, 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

Giovanni Feroce, the Republican candidate for RI governor, joins Political Roundtable to talk about the race and his campaign.

Ian Donnis/File Photo / RIPR

GOP gubernatorial candidate Giovanni Feroce joins Bonus Q&A this week to talk about whether his plan to eliminate the personal income tax is realistic, and a host of other issues.

Ian Donnis/File Photo / RIPR

A new study finds that Rhode Island’s film and TV tax credit is losing the state more than $1.8 million a year.

RI House of Representatives

Rhode Island State Rep. Jeremiah "Jay" O'Grady was stretching after a workout at MacColl YMCA in Lincoln last August and he was looking forward to seeing a concert with his wife when his life was suddenly turned upside down.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Kent Willever, 74, retired last week as executive director of the Rhode Island Ethics Commission. The commission was created by voters frustrated with government scandals in the 1980s. But it was in a state of crisis by the time Willever took over in 2001.

Some observers saw that as a sign of the difficulty of policing ethics in Rhode Island. Willever said that’s partly why he posted in his office an iconic print of Don Quixote. It recalled the moment in the novel when the idealistic protagonist takes on an impossible task of using a spear to attack a windmill.

One need not suffer from triskaidekaphobia to question Rhode Island's budget outlook. But lawmakers are heading off on their spring break, and the weather shows some (brief) signs of improvement, so it will have to wait. Thanks, regardless, 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

Rhode Island state Rep. Shelby Maldonado (D-Central Falls) joins Political Roundtable this week to discuss her bill meant to aid people in the DACA program, the emerging race for governor, and the outlook for gun-related bills in the General Assembly.

General Assembly photo

Rhode Island State Rep. Shelby Maldonado joins Bonus Q&A to talk about the intersection of politics and immigration, the clash between progressives and establishment Democrats, abortion rights, affordable housing and much more.