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Side of the Rhode: Who’s Hot and Who’s Not in RI Politics?

Friday, September 21, 2012

 

Who’s Hot

Mike Riley -> It’s no surprise that people aren’t yet concerned about Congressman Langevin’s race, but his Republican challenger released what may be the most effective ad any local candidate has put out this year earlier in the week. Riley knows there isn’t much to attack Langevin on personally, but if he drums up that “vote ‘em all out” sentiment in the 2nd District with ads focusing on the Congressman’s voting record, he has a real opportunity to make the race closer than anyone expected.

David Cicilline -> At this point, David Cicilline ought to send a fruit basket to Anthony Gemma. The Congressman called Gemma’s attacks during the Democratic primary “infuriating,” but they seem to have rejuvenated his base and may have even won back some of the folks who were dead set on voting him out of office. Now it appears he’s surging in the polls at the right time.

James Diossa -> With Charles Moreau officially out of office, look for Councilman Diossa to take a shot at becoming the next Mayor of Central Falls as it emerges from bankruptcy. There will be other challengers as well (think Joe Moran or Tom Lazieh), but Diossa would be seen as a refreshing face in a city desperate for a lift. It doesn’t hurt that some of his top advisors are the same folks who helped Angel Taveras become Mayor of Providence.

Sean Gately ->The State Senate candidate out of Cranston made a brilliant political play when he helped make the father/daughter dance controversy the hot button issue of the week. Gately has an uphill battle against the popular Frank Lombardi, but the issue has certainly made him a household name in his district.

William San Bento -> Congrats to the Pawtucket State Rep. who barely held on to his seat (he won by a single vote) this week in a recount against Carlos Tobon. In doing so, San Bento can also say he was the only candidate targeted by General Treasurer Gina Raimondo that managed to pick up a win in the Democratic primary.

Jon Brien -> It’s awfully difficult to win a write-in campaign, but the Woonsocket Rep. is hoping strong turnout from the Presidential and 1st Congressional race will help propel him to office even though he isn’t an enthusiastic supporter of President Obama or David Cicilline. Brien was targeted by the unions and lost by 52 votes in last week’s Democratic primary.

Who’s Not

Charles Moreau -> The corrupt Central Falls Mayor is finally out of office and is likely on his way to prison after pleading guilty to handing out a city contract in exchange for personal gifts this week. There were some who actually thought Moreau might have a chance to win in a re-election bid, but it’s nice to see a dark cloud lifted over that city.

John McCauley -> The list of troubled state lawmakers continues to pile up after the retiring Deputy Majority Leader was charged with conspiracy to defraud the United States and filing false tax returns. McCauley was a well-liked guy on Smith Hill, but his selfishness provided yet another black eye for the state.

Brendan Doherty -> The Republican Congressional candidate is in his first real pickle as he finds himself trying to explain how he has lost the 15-point lead he held over Congressman Cicilline earlier this year. Still, it’s hardly time to panic. Doherty has built a strong foundation and isn’t like to become unhinged the way Anthony Gemma did in the Democratic primary.

Mitt Romney -> Of course, it doesn’t help the star of the Republican Party in Rhode Island when the guy at the top of the ticket nationally is recorded criticizing 47 percent of the American public. Talk about the worst time for a blunder. Just as Romney appeared to be surging based on foreign policy issues, his foolish comments completely changed the news cycle.

Frank Lombardi -> He’s still the favorite to win that State Senate seat in Cranston, but the school committee member has a real problem with this father/daughter dance issue that his opponent has managed to pin on him. There is nothing Lombardi can do to change state law, but he’s been backed into a corner by Sean Gately.

Unemployment -> The unemployment rate may have improved, but at 10.7 percent, the state is still in desperate need of some kind of spark that will turn the economy around.
 

Dan McGowan can be reached at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter: @danmcgowan.

 

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