The Hottest General Assembly Races
Saturday, September 11, 2010
Providence, District 9, Democratic – Williams v. Wilson This race pits House Labor Chair Anastasia Williams—“a powerful cog in the Gordon Fox machine,” as one Democratic operative puts it— against Wynnel Wilson, who’s picked up endorsements from the AFL-CIO and the Rhode Island Latino Action League.
Providence, District 10, Democratic – Can Slater Keep Seat in the Family? Scott Slater is running to fill his father Thomas Slater’s seat. The question in this race is whether Slater can muster the same campaign machine that his father did, according to our Democratic source. He faces two other candidates in the primary— Raymond Tomasso and Ana Quezada.
Narragansett, District 34, Democratic – Will a Progressive Take Down One of the Caprios? House Judiciary Chairman David Caprio is being given a run for his money by progressive candidate Teresa Tanzi. Our source tells us Caprio is “extremely worried” he could lose the race and is dumping in money into the race. But another source is confident Caprio will ride out the primary. “He’s got a pretty strong hold down in Narragansett,” our source said. “People have tried to knock him off before and failed miserably.”
Providence, District 12, Democrats - Candidate Faces Fines, Charges Perennial candidate Leo Medina is in trouble—big trouble. First, his candidacy was hit with news that he owed $55,284 in fines to the state Board of Elections for long overdue campaign finance reports. Now he faces a possible criminal investigation into whether he has been practicing law without a license. As far as his political battles go, he faces prominent incumbent Joseph Almeida in the primary.
North Kingstown, District 31, Tea Party Leader Running Doreen Costa, a leader in the Rhode Island Tea Party, is running in the Republican primary against James Halley. “Her winning the primary could send a strong message there is a strong reform movement in the RI GOP as well,” one Republican official said.
East Providence, District 65, Right Hoping to Wipe Out 'RINO'? In one of those only-in-Rhode-Island situations, Stephanie Sivalingham is running against her former elementary school principal, John Savage, in the Republican primary. Conservative Republicans are targeting Savage because he voted against a cut to teacher pensions. Sivalingham is a Young Republican and is receiving the backing of the RISC Business Network, but one party insider doesn’t think she will upset Savage. He tells us she didn’t knock on any doors and had a poor turnout at a recent fundraiser. If Savage loses, that could signal a strong right turn in the Republican Party, one source says.
Bristol, District 68, Democrats – Union Showdown This primary is a big showdown between union and business forces. On the business side is Douglas Gablinske, one of the marquee candidates backed by the RISC Business Network. He is facing a bruising fight against the pro-union Richard Morrison. Gablinske recently made headlines by accusing the local teacher union of politicking on behalf of his opponent. “This is the teachers’ union’s top priority—to take out Gablinske,” said one insider. Gablinske voted for the new education funding formula, which cut funding to his home district. “Some day that was courageous. Some say that was stupid. I guess we’ll find out on Tuesday,” our source tells us. But another political insider told us he believes Gablinske will pull this one out.
Warwick, District 21, Democrats – Environmental Advocate Losing Ground? Long-time state rep Eileen Naughton could lose her seat in a tought primary against Thomas Chadronet, according to a source familiar with Warwick politics. Naughton is a prominent advocate for the environment—but her inability to bring home the bacon to her district has made her vulnerable, our source says.
Johnston, District 25, Democrats – 9 Candidates Flood Field The Democratic primary for Mayor Joseph Polisena’s seat is drawing no less than nine Democrats, including blasts from the past like former Senator John Vanner and former Rep. Paul Santilli.
West Warwick, District 9, Democrats –Senate Leadership Targets Incumbent Senator Michael Pinga—a gadfly in the state Senate—is facing a primary challenge from Peter Calci, who is backed by the Senate leadership. Feelings are still sore over Pinga’s upset victory against former District 9 Senator Stephen Alves, one political insider tells GoLocalProv.
Providence, District 4, Democrats – Senate Leader Might Be in Trouble Senate Majority Whip Dominick Ruggerio—affectionately known in political circles as “Rubbers Ruggerio” for his 1990 arrest for shoplifting condoms—is in line to become the next Majority Leader. But he could be in trouble in his primary against Raymond De Stefanis, a source tells us.
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