I previously have posted about the RI-01 congressional race, which is my home district, a seat currently held by Democratic former Providence Mayor David Cicilline.
Cicilline concealed Providence financial problems until after the 2010 election. Cicilline ran a “scare grandma” campaign, making a tour of senior centers to falsely claim their social security was at risk.
Cicilline recently pulled a coup when he convinced a redistricting commission (controlled by Democrats in the legislature) to shift 75,000 people from RI-02 without any demographic justification. This angered RI-02 Democratic Congressman Jim Langevin, who saw his constituents effectively stolen to help Cicilline.
Nonetheless, Cicilline remains vulnerable as he has very low approval ratings, and every bit of bad economic news out of Providence reminds voters of the carnage he left behind. Cicilline likely will have a Democratic challenger.
There had been two possible Republican contenders, John Loughlin who ran a good but ultimately unsuccessful campaign against Cicilline in 2010, and retired State Police Colonel and Superintendent Brendan Dougherty.
Loughlin, who had been on active National Guard service in Iraq until recently, just announced that he is not running, fearing that a primary fight would damage chances against Cicilline. I had been waiting to see what Loughlin would do before getting involved.
I will support Doherty, because removing Cicilline is a chance to flip a Democratic seat. Doherty is well respected in Rhode Island, has good name recognition even though he has not run for office before, has been raising money and setting up a campaign infrastructure for months, and has a decent shot.
Doherty’s biggest challenge is that being a decent, honest law enforcement type, he will have to deal with someone like Cicilline who will say and do anything.
Update: Here is Cicilline’s statement on learning Loughlin was not running. He is shameless:
“I have seen first-hand just how out of touch House Republicans are with the real world impact their policies have on middle-class families. From their plan to end Medicare, continue tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires and continue tax breaks for companies that ship American jobs overseas, their policies would have a devastating impact on Rhode Island.”