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Who Is Barry Hinckley?

Saturday, April 23, 2011


Time will tell whether the majority of Rhode Island Republicans will follow the national trend and continue moving further to the right, but at least one candidate hopes to set a different tone with his campaign.

Barry Hinckley is a 45 year-old pro-choice, pro-civil union, “liberty Republican” who once ran a nonprofit in Boston before starting a software company that he says created 150 high-paying jobs, and is now worth close to $100 million. Yes, he is the same Hinckley from Hinckley Yachts, but he’s quick to point out that he’s a self-made man.

Now he’s running for U.S. Senate - first stop the GOP primary - and then hopefully against Democrat incumbent Sheldon Whitehouse (lower left), and believes social issues are the least of the country’s worries. In an exclusive interview with GoLocalProv, Hinckley blasted Whitehouse and the progressive movement for allowing government spending to get out of hand, a decision he believes will have a negative impact on the country for generations to come.

Both Parties Have Blood On Their Hands

But liberals are not the only ones to blame for the mess the country is in according to Hinckley, who is running for office for the first time.

“It’s not a Republican and Democrat thing,” the self-described centrist American said. “Both parties have blood on their hands.”

The difference, Hinckley says, is that Republicans are willing to change while Democrats remain stagnant. Hinckley points to the different factions within the Republican Party as evidence his party is evolving.   

Hinckley believes he is the right person to connect the different factions in Rhode Island, and his tolerance on social issues might even help draw some Democrats in for support. He says he’s old enough to understand how to create jobs and build the economy, but young enough to appeal to the people that will inherit the state and the country's dire fiscal situation.

“I can relate to the two generations before me, people I’ve worked for and worked with,” Hinckley said. “But I can also work with the two generations after me who have to live with the decisions we make.”

Hires Young Republican Leader Travis Rowley

Hinckley made a splash this week when he hired outspoken Young Republican Chairman Travis Rowley as a campaign consultant. Rowley, who penned “The Rhode Island Republican” and contributes to this website, has been a vocal critic of progressives in the state.

Hinckley praised Rowley’s leadership of the Young Republicans and said he agrees with his new consultant’s thoughts on progressives.

“They’re running the country into the ground,” Hinckley said. “Progressives believe the government can solve problems. I believe people solve problems. Progressives are a core threat to private sector job growth. The government is too involved.”

Job growth is Hinckley’s favorite talking point. He said that is the single most important difference between he and Senator Whitehouse.

“I’ve created hundreds of well-paying jobs, and he has created zero,” Hinckley said. “The country is crying out for leaders, but the senator’s ideas are not being heard in Washington D.C.. That’s because he has no experience creating jobs.”

Hinckley sounds more like a typical Republican when he talks about job growth. He believes the government should get out of the way and make it easier for businesses to create jobs.

Reforming The Tax Code

As a former Massachusetts director of FairTax, Hinckley believes it’s time to reform the tax code.

“We have a 67,000 page tax code and no one is addressing it,” he said. “The cost of compliance is thirty cents per dollar collected and our leaders are ignoring that fact. We need to have the courage to address the tax code.”

FairTax is a plan that would eliminate all federal taxes and replace it with a single national consumption tax on retail. Hinckley says economists on the right and left have argued in favor of the plan and believe it can lead to a boom in the economy.

But before he can change the tax code, he first will face what potentially looks like a large Republican primary field, followed by the wealthy and relatively popular incumbent Whitehouse.

Hinckley believes his “balanced” message will help him appeal to voters.

“I’m a modern American,” he said. “We’re tolerant of social issues and we’re fiscally grounded. We won’t let big government kill the economy anymore”

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