PROVIDENCE, R.I. -- House Finance Chairman Steven Costantino, D-Providence, may be leaving the General Assembly in hopes of winning a new job as mayor of Rhode Island's largest city.
But three other members of the extended Costantino family are now running for their own seats in the House.
They include his brother Gregory Costantino, running as an independent for the District 44 House seat currently held by Lincoln Democrat Peter Petrarca; Julie Zito challenging incumbent Rene Menard in a Democratic primary for a District 45 House seat, encompassing parts of Lincoln and Cumberland; and Democrat Paul Marandola, seeking the District 7 House seat in Providence that Rep. Joanne Giannini is vacating.
House spokesman Larry Berman explains the intertwined relationships:
Julie Zito is the sister of Lisa Costantino, Gregory's wife. Julie and Lisa are the co-founders of the Pastry Gourmet chain. Julie is currently a six-year member of the Lincoln School Committee.
This being Rhode Island, everyone is related somehow. Julie's husband, Paul Zito, and former Mayor Joe Paolino are first cousins. Their mothers are sisters.
Paul Marandola is running for Giannini's vacant House seat in Providence's District 7. Paul's sister Diane is married to Alan Costantino, Steven's brother.