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NEW: Gemma, Segal Met to Discuss 1st District Race

Thursday, December 22, 2011

 

Two potential Democratic challengers to David Cicilline in next year's 1st Congressional race met quietly to discuss their political futures at a Providence restaurant Wednesday, sources have confirmed with GoLocalProv.

Anthony Gemma and David Segal, two candidates who lost to Cicilline in last September's primary, met at the Union Station Brewery downtown.

It is unclear what the two discussed, but both are said to be weighing a run for Congress again. Last week, Gemma said he was 95 percent committed to running. Segal has been less outspoken about his potential candidacy, but has acknowledged that he is considering challenging Cicilline again.

Gemma and Segal are considered to be far apart on many political issues, with Gemma appealing to middle-of-the-road conservative Democrats and Segal appealing to leftwing Democrats. But the two share a connection to Ray Rickman, who was a member of the controversial redistricting commission.

Rickman is a confidant of Segal's and was a paid consultant for Gemma during the last campaign.

Cicilline, the former Providence Mayor, won the four-way Democratic primary with 37.2 percent of the vote in 2010. Gemma finished second with 23.1 percent and Segal placed third with 20.1 percent. Former State Democratic Party Chairman Bill Lynch finished fourth with 19.6 percent.

But the incumbent is viewed as vulnerable after leaving the city with a $110 million structural deficit that Mayor Angel Taveras called a "category five fiscal hurricane." A recent Brown University poll placed the incumbent's approval rating at just 23 percent among voters in the 1st District.


 

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