David Bennett

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David Bennett
Rhode Island House of Representatives District 20
In office
2011 - Present
Term ends
January 6, 2015
Years in position 3
Base salary$14,185.95/year
Elections and appointments
Last electionNovember 6, 2012
First elected2010
Next generalNovember 4, 2014
Term limitsN/A
Office website
David A. Bennett (b. April 8, 1955) is a Democratic member of the Rhode Island House of Representatives, representing District 20. Bennett joined the house in 2011.

Rhode Island's 20th District takes in the neighborhoods of Norwood, Hillsgrove, and Greenwood and parts of Apponaug, Pontiac Mills, Lakewood and Spring Green.

Entering the race on May 12, 2010, Bennett said, "We need a fresh, new perspective at the State House. I think Representative Gemma has some nice accomplishments, but I think its time we’ve gotten some fresh, new blood up there.”

Addressing the markedly left-leaning positions of his new opponent, incumbent Al Gemma replied, "He’s a progressive, you know what that means right? It means socialist...This will be my 19th election and I’m ready for it. I’m new blood. I’m old blood. I’m everything. I haven’t stopped fighting for the people since 1974 when I got involved.”[1]


Bennett has been a psychiatric nurse for the past nine years. Prior to becoming an R.N., he worked as an orderly and a surgical assistant.

Bennett is a Rhode Island native, the youngest of six; his father was a truck driver and belonged to the Teamsters while his mother was a housewife. He and his wife, Ann, reside in Warwick, RI, in the same home where Bennett grew up. David and Ann have child, an adopted daughter named Giana, 10.


  • Community College of Rhode Island, R.N.
  • Rhode Island College, B.A., Psychology
  • Rhode Island Junior College, Associate's Degree, Education and Social Work

Committee assignments


At the beginning of the 2013 legislative session, Bennett served on the following committees:

Rhode Island Committee Assignments, 2013
Health, Education and Welfare
Municipal Government


In the 2011-2012 legislative session, Bennett served on these committees:



See also: Rhode Island House of Representatives elections, 2012

Bennett won re-election in the 2012 election for Rhode Island House of Representatives District 20. Bennett was unopposed in the September 11 Democratic primary and was unopposed in the general election which took place on November 6, 2012.[2]

Rhode Island House of Representatives, District 20, General Election, 2012
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngDavid Bennett Incumbent 97.1% 3,884
     Other Write-in 2.9% 114
Total Votes 3,998


See also: Rhode Island House of Representatives elections, 2010

Bennett defeated incumbent Alfred Gemma in the September 14 Democratic primary and defeated Republican Henri Koldyk and Moderate William Pierce, III in the November 2 general election.[3][4]

House District 20, Democratic Primary
Candidates Votes
Green check mark transparent.png David Bennett (D) 902
Alfred Gemma (D) 532
Rhode Island House District 20
Candidates Votes
Green check mark transparent.png David Bennett (D) 2660
Henri Koldyk (R) 1527
William Pierce, III (M) 427


In 2008, John Revens announced he would not run again for the state Senate seat he had held for the past 40 years. Bennett vied for the open seat against Erin Lynch, whom Revans had backed. Bennett came within ten votes, but ultimately lost the primary to Lynch.

Bennett weighed challenging Lynch in her first election as incumbent but ultimately chose to take on Rep. Al Gemma in 2010.[5]

In 2008, Bennett appealed the amazing close primary between himself and Lynch. The recount actually shaved one vote his total and led to Lynch's victory being certifed by the State Board of Elections.[6]

Bennett went on to ask the high court to stay the Board's decision and grant him an expedited appeal. His lawyer, Angel Tavares, said he had evidence of improperly filled out ballots and of Republicans who has voted in the Democratic primary.

At the time, Bennett commented, “Any time there’s a vote this close, you just want to make sure that every vote is counted.” Erin Lynch seconded her opponent in his request for a recount, saying, "I would have done the exact same thing...I just met him for the first time today. He’s a nice guy. He wished me luck and I wished him luck. After two months of campaigning, we’ve continued to be civil. That’s a testament to his campaign.” However, she added on a note putting her at odds with Bennett's push for an injunction and hearing: “We both fought hard and worked hard,” she said. “Now I’ve got to get ready for the General Election.”

In between his unsucessful 2008 candidacy and his 2010 bid, Bennett particpated in SEIU run candidate training camps.[7]

Campaign donors


Campaign donor information is not yet available for this year.


In 2010, Bennett raised $22,969 in campaign donations. The top contributors to the campaign are listed below.[8]

Rhode Island House of Representatives 2010 election - Campaign Contributions
Top contributors to David Bennett's campaign in 2010
Rhode Island Alliance Of Social Service Employees$2,000
National Education Association Rhode Island$1,500
New England Health Care Employees$1,000
Rix, Jeremy$960
United Nurses & Allied Professionals$850
Total Raised in 2010 $22,969


Bennett has raised a total of $7,960, including $1,450 from labor unions - his largest supporters - and a $100 self-financing donation. To date, his donations are 86% in-state, with the remaining $1,100 coming from Hartford, CT.

Given that Democratic primary opponent Al Gemma has $10,123 by the primary, Bennett's victory is something of an upset on the funding front.

Contributor 2010 total Percentage
New England Health Care Employees $1,000 12.56%
Jeremy Rix $750 9.52%
Donald W. Tufts $500 6.28%
Dave's Bar & Grill $300 3.77%
Brina Hull $300 3.77%


  • American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME)
  • National Educators' Association (NEA)
  • Service Employees International Union (SEIU)

Candidate contact information

Campaign HQ: Friends of David Bennett, PO Box 8195, Warwick, Rhode Island 02888

E-mail: friendsofdavidbennett@gmail.com

Phone: (401)648-1171


Bennet and his wife, Ann, have one child.

External links

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Political offices
Preceded by
Alfred Gemma (D)
Rhode Island House of Representatives - District 20
Succeeded by