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 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.

General Background

  • 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 in Middletown.

Community Involvement

  • 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. 
Joe Sousa. July 16, 2012 at 09:37 AM
The RI. economy is a direct result of progressive, socially liberal democrat thinking. That's why we are the worst place to do business in the country. Jobs and business leaving the State. Over one hundred and thirty thousand manufacturing jobs have left the state since the 80's . Do we want this State to become insolvent ?
George Kassis July 16, 2012 at 01:51 PM
Great to have a person of Linda's caliber to run for District 72 congessional seat. I laud you for taking on this challenge and bringing your social values, professionalism and commitment to bear George Kassis, Portsmouth
Bill Carson July 16, 2012 at 10:42 PM
Linda, Help stop the wind turbine madness. The turbines today are not economically feasible. The current politicians will soon be voted out as they have been all over the world . Here is the Trailer for movie Winfall it shows what happened to the politicians that went with the politicians and PAC money : Check it out it's only a few minutes http://firstrunfeatures.com/trailers_windfall.html
Bill Welch July 17, 2012 at 03:47 PM
Ms. Finn is a self-described progressive liberal Democrat. Will RI voters ever wake up and realize the horrendous damage these empty-headed people do? For years, Rhode Island has been among the worst states in the union for business. Without a decent business environment, jobs, tax revenues, infrastructure—virtually everything that makes for quality of life—suffers. Liberal Democrats have dominated the state for more than seven decades. You have to be dishonest or a fool to deny their policies are not responsible for the state being bankrupt and corrupt. Utopian progressive nonsense not only doesn't work—just look at collapsing Europe—it destroys the freedoms and opportunities that have made America the greatest place on Earth for people to achieve and succeed. Dan Reilly has been a hardworking, intelligent, openminded, approachable representative. Perhaps best of all he is fiscally conservative, a desperately needed voice opposing the mindless tax-and-spend liberal Democrats dominating Capitol Hill. The last thing District 72 and Rhode Island needs is another "caring" progressive, like Ms. Finn, to throw away our tax dollars on policies that have bankrupted the state while ultimately benefitting no one. My vote is going to Dan Reilly. He's earned it.
Joe Sousa. July 18, 2012 at 10:24 AM
The flow of taxpayers and wealth out of every county in the Ocean State is continuing at an alarming rate according to a new report issued today by the Rhode Island Center for Freedom and Prosperity. Between 2003 and 2010, 24,455 more income-tax-paying households left Rhode Island for other states than moved in the opposite direction, taking with them $1.2 billion dollars in annual income.


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