Meet the Candidate: Linda Finn To Run Against Rep. Reilly
Middletown resident Linda Finn, owner of Linda Finn Garden Design, is running for a seat in the House of Representatives to represent District 72 (Newport, Middletown, Portsmouth)
Patch sat down with Middletown resident and Democrat Linda Dill Finn, who is running against incumbent Republican Daniel Reilly to represent District 72 in the House of Representatives. Finn, a first-time candidate, describes herself as a progressive, socially-liberal Democrat.
"A lot of people just need a chance," said Finn.
We put together this snapshot reference of her background and key issues to introduce you to the candidate.
- Finn was born in Carmel, NY
- When Finn was in 9th grade, her parents divorced. Her mother who was from Bristol, moved back to Rhode Island. After the divorce, Finn lived between Rhode Island and New York.
- She has been married to her husband, John Fin, for 16 years
- They have two children, Phoebe (16) and Jack (14). Phoebe attends Wheeler School in Providence and Jack attends St. George’s School in Middletown.
- The family moved to Middletown in 1998, after Jack was born.
Finn describes her background:
I am from two very different families. My Mom's side of the family immigrated from Italy. My grandmother was the Secretary of the Union at United Rubber in Bristol. They both were very hard working with strong family ties. They loved the beach and outdoors and my siblings and I have so many fond memories particularly around this time of year. We always went very early to the Fourth of July parade to get the best possible seats -- sometimes at 5 AM!
My Father's Dad was the first to go to college in his family and became a well known businessman in Carmel, New York, He passed down an entrepreneurial spirit to his children and grandchildren and owned and started many businesses throughout his life.
My grandmother was well read and volunteered much of her time at the local library and encouraged us all to go to college and get the best grades we possibly could.
- Graduated from Barrington High School in 1977
- Graduated Boston University with a BA in Marketing in 1981
- After graduation, Finn worked in the financial services industry until her daughter was born in 1996.
- Finn said she tried to go back to work after he children were born but she was unhappy. In March of 1998 she took landscape design courses. In 2003, she took her new passion to the next level and started her own company, Linda Finn Garden Design.
- Finn has designed several public and private gardens in Newport County
- 20 year member of Saint Columba's Chapel in Middletown.
- Finn said she decided to run for office since she has been involved with several nonprofits in the community and would like to expand her reach to the community.
- She is the past president of Women’s Resource Center of Newport and Bristol Counties, and has been involved in the organization since 1989.
- She currently serves as president of Baby Steps, which is a nonprofit organization based in Newport that works to ensure local children are prepared for kindergarten. Finn said studies demonstrate if children enter kindergarten with vocabulary that is below average, they will struggle to catch up.
- Finn has served as Assistant Treasurer, Sunday School Teacher and member of the Vestry at Saint Columba's Chapel.
- Finn described her political views as a progressive, socially liberal democrat.
- Education is one of her top issues. “In Middletown, students can either take art or a language, not both,” said Finn. She said there are students who slip through the cracks if they do not excel in either math, science or English.
- The tax structure in Rhode Island should be examined for both businesses and individuals, said Finn. She said she can leverage her financial industry background experience in the role.
- Finn said although it is not one of her campaign issues, she is a strong supporter of gay marriage.
- She is an advocate of Planned Parenthood and politically supports their views
- Finn said she is an avid reader
- She also enjoys playing tennis and skiing in the winter.