Rhode Island bade farewell and paid tribute today to former state Sen. Lila Sapinsley, a liberal Republican who became the first woman Senate Minority Leader, at funeral services at Temple Beth-El in the Providence East Side district that she so ably represented.
Sapinsley, who died earlier this week at her Laurelmead home at 92, was eulogized by Rabbi Leslie Y. Gutterman as a path breaking woman of compassion, accomplishment and conviction.
Rhode Island’s tiny Republican Party has struggled for years to increase its presence in the General Assembly. Back in 1983, the GOP made its biggest gains in recent history by highlighting a Democratic boondoggle that cost taxpayers more than a million dollars. The man who engineered that Republican strategy, former state party chairman John Holmes, spent part of his childhood in Bristol. He returned to the town with his wife Kathy when they fell in love with a historic home near the center of town. Bristol is the focus on our series this week, One Square Mile.