Rhode Island speaker faces steep political test


PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — House Speaker Gordon Fox once summed up his unlikely rise to become one of the most powerful figures in Rhode Island government this way: "I'm a biracial gay kid that wasn't supposed to be speaker."

The Providence Democrat has knocked down many obstacles to get where he is but now faces his steepest political test yet.

Authorities on Friday raided his Statehouse office and home in a joint investigation by the U.S. attorney's office, FBI, IRS and state police. Officials haven't said whom or what they are investigating. Fox said Saturday he would comment "when it's appropriate."

Fox became the nation's first openly gay speaker in 2010. He was instrumental in passing a same-sex marriage bill and cites as other legislative accomplishments the state's pension overhaul and school funding formula.

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