By TRACEY O’NEILL
Special to The Standard
NORTH KINGSTOWN– State Representative Doreen Costa (Rep. D-32), who will face off against Democrat Stephen Campo in the general election in November, is back in the district knocking on doors after her return from the Republican National Convention (RNC) in Tampa last week.
Attending the RNC as one of 19 delegates from Rhode Island, Representative Costa joined Mayors Allen W. Fung of Cranston and Scott Avedesian of Warwick, Mark Zaccaria, Chair of the RI GOP and former
Governor Donald Carcieri on the floor as Rhode Island’s delegate votes were cast. Mayor Fung, who had the honor of making the announcement, called the Rhode Island count of four votes for Ron Paul and a majority vote of 15 for Mitt Romney.
Her first convention, the junior Representative from the Ocean State said she was overwhelmed with the receptive spirit of all who attended the event.
“I met so many people,” Costa said earlier this week. “I’ve never seen so many Republicans in one place … There was a lot of energy with everyone being of the same mind set.”
Meeting countless party heavyweights, Costa likened the experience to a whirlwind and said she clocked little sleep while ensuring that contacts were made, friendships forged and once in a lifetime opportunities were not missed.
She said notable moments in her visit included speaking with Karl Rove, former Chief of Staff under President George W. Bush, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich.
The experience had Costa reflecting on her role as a State Representative.
“One thing that I thought about was the position that I hold,” she said. “It isn’t my seat - District 31. It’s the people of the District who own the seat. I work for those people and I do what I can to help them every day.”
The speeches given throughout the convention also garnered confidence for the Representative who says her message is one of “working for the people.”
Growing up in a working class family, Costa recalled helping her father, Anthony, who was a cobbler who repaired and shined shoes in his shop in Providence’s historic Arcade.
“I grew up poor,” she said. “I literally shined shoes in my father’s shop. My mom was a homemaker.”
Listening to the stories of the keynote speakers at the convention, Costa said she was impressed by former Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice, who spoke of her childhood and mother’s encouragement to perhaps one day become President.
“This is the United States of America,” she said. “We can do anything here. Look at Marco Rubio. He came here from another country and his speech was so powerful. The stories are real people who made it.”
Costa said that bringing the message she learned from the RNC home to Rhode Island is important for the District 31 Representative who is out nightly knocking on doors and meeting people.
Answering four-five calls from residents a day, lending a hand or listening to an issue, Costa said she plans on holding true to her routine regardless of campaign stressors and volatility. Her trip to Tampa and the RNC behind her, Costa says she is now focused on her campaign and issues facing her district constituents.
Tracey O’Neill is a seasoned reporter experienced in North Kingstown. She is an independent contractor for SRI Newspapers.