10 Most Vulnerable Reps and Senators
Monday, October 08, 2012
With less than a month before the general election, several sitting lawmakers are scrambling to hold on to their seats. GoLocalProv breaks down 10 Reps. and Senators who appear vulnerable heading into November.
Lisa Tomasso – House District 29
At this point, Republicans would probably be surprised if their candidate doesn’t unseat the first-term Democrat. Keith Anderson, an East Providence teacher, has had plenty of time to build name recognition in a district Tomasso won by fewer than 10 votes two years ago and Democratic groups seem to have mostly stayed out of this race. Of course, as will be the case for many Republicans in next month, having President Obama on the ballot will increase turnout and could help Tomasso keep it close
Spencer Dickinson – House District 35
He survived a Democratic primary where he was targeted by House Speaker Gordon Fox and pension reform supporters, but now Rep. Dickinson is facing a difficult challenge from James Haldeman, who GOP chairman Mark Zaccaria has singled out as one of the best candidates to help the Republicans pick up a seat in the House. It is unclear if powerful Democrats are actually willing to support a Republican simply to make sure Dickinson is defeated, but he certainly won’t have much help from the machine this time around. Dickinson should, however, pick up plenty of support from the unions.
Hanna Gallo – Senate District 27
If organized labor is going to make an example out of anyone in November, it may be Senator Gallo, who had always had a strong relationship with the unions until she voted in favor of pension reform last year. Now Gallo has challenges from Independent Aram Garabedian (the owner of the Warwick Mall) and promising Republican candidate Robert Lancia. Gallo may benefit from having a three-way race, but don’t expect her largest support base in the past to go to bat for her this time around.
Cale Keable – House District 47
The first-term Democrat may still be the favorite in his race, but gerrymandering accusations have dogged him all year. Republican Donald Fox may actually net some of the sympathy vote in the district and if he can paint himself as an underdog who even has Speaker Gordon Fox interfering with his race, it might just put him over the top. Still, Keable is well-known and will likely have plenty of resources to help him hold on to his seat.
Beth Moura – Senate District 19
Moura is very popular within her district, but she is also being targeted by the pro-marriage equality advocates, which should make the race interesting. Democrat Ryan Pearson is a lifelong Cumberland resident who only lost to Moura by less than 350 votes in 2010. Still, while other Democrats are likely to benefit from increased turnout this year, Pearson is running in a district where conservative voters may turn out in droves to help Republican Brendan Doherty in the 1st Congressional District.
Larry Ehrhardt – House District 32
The Republican survived a difficult primary and now he faces Democrat Bob Craven in the general election. Craven is a credible opponent who has the money to make the race competitive, but Ehrhardt may benefit from his willingness to criticize the 38 Studios deal. His problem is that he doesn’t have the type of support he might need from his own party, which had plenty of people working against him in his primary
Glenford Shibley – Senate District 33
The Republican Senator is up against former Senator Lou Raptakis, who stepped away to run for Secretary of State in 2010. Shibley probably would rather be up against Raptakis’ primary opponent (David Gorman), because now he’s running against someone with similar conservative credentials and who has plenty of name recognition and money to win back his seat.
Jeremiah O’Grady – House District 46
One of the biggest wins for organized labor in 2010, O’Grady is another lawmaker who made the decision to vote in favor of pension reform last year. Now he’s facing a tough Republican challenger in Matthew Guerra and two independents (Mary Ann Shallcross Smith & Paul DiDomenico). Guerra is another one of the Republican candidates the Party has high hopes for, but Shallcross Smith is a former Rep. and is considered a credible threat in this race.
Jan Malik – House District 67
Rep. Malik is one of the longest-serving legislators on Smith Hill, but he’s up against an energetic Republican in Peter Costa. The 22-year-old is believed to have a promising future in the state GOP and has attacked Malik for missing too many votes (including the one that paved the way for 38 Studios). But Malik remains a favorite and should be fine when it comes to fundraising (and spending) over the final month.
Harold Metts – Senate District 6
It’s very difficult for a Republican to win in Providence, but Russ Hryzan has spent plenty of money attempting to build name recognition and, as the Providence Journal reported Sunday, is actually a supporter of same-sex marriage (Metts is not). Metts may hold on this time around, but plenty of Republicans believe Hryzan has a real shot at keeping the race close.