Metro

Today’s election results to change political landscape

While change in mayor, governor inevitable, incumbents in national offices run for reelection

By
Metro Editor
Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Today is Election Day, marking the end to an election season in Rhode Island that was full of memorable candidates, contentious debates, surprising endorsements and visits from national politicians. The gubernatorial election will result in either the state’s first non-white or non-male governor. Providence’s next mayor is likely going to be either a convicted felon or a judge. Incumbents across the state could be swept out by a new cast. Here is a breakdown of elections that voters in Providence and Rhode Island will be deciding today.

 

Reed runs to retain U.S. Senate seat  

U.S. Sen. Jack Reed, D-R.I., is running for reelection to his fourth Senate term against Republican challenger Mark Zaccaria, a former state Republican chairman. The latest CBS News, New York Times and YouGov poll taken from Oct. 16 to 23 has Reed leading by 45 percentage points, making it likely that he will safetly maintain his seat. Reed has run on a platform that emphasizes  economic opportunities for the middle class, infrastructure investments, support for military families and veterans and strengthend entitlement programs for senior citizens, according to his campaign’s website.

If the Democrats maintain a majority in the Senate, Reed will likely become chairman of the powerful Senate Armed Services Committee in 2015, Rhode Island Public Radio reported.

Zaccaria has unsuccessfully run twice  for the second Congressional district seat against U.S. Rep. Jim Langevin, D-R.I., in 2008 and 2010.

 

Congressional challenges for Cicilline ’83 and Langevin

For the first Congressional district seat, U.S. Rep David Cicilline ’83, D-R.I., is running for his third term in Congress against Cormick Lynch, an Iraq War veteran who served in the Marines. At 26 percent earlier this year, Cicilline, a former mayor of Providence, had the lowest approval rating of any member of Rhode Island’s congressional delegation, The Herald previously reported. Despite those numbers, he is currently ahead in the polls.

In the second Congressional district, Langevin, running for his eighth term in office, faces a challenge from Rhue Reis, a businessman from North Kingstown.

 

Gubernatorial seat up for grabs  

The latest poll from the Taubman Center for Public Policy and American Institutions shows a tight race between Democratic candidate and General Treasuer Gina Raimondo and Republican Allan Fung, mayor of Cranston, to replace Gov. Lincoln Chafee ’75 P’14 P’17. A third candidate Robert Healey, who is running for the Moderate Party, has about 10 percent of voters’ support, according to the poll.

For Rhode Island’s lieutenant governor seat, Catherine Taylor, a Republican and former director of senior citizens’ affairs for Chafee, is running against Democratic Mayor of Cumberland Daniel McKee to replace current Lieutenant Governor Elizabeth Roberts. McKee holds the lead at 36 percent of voter support, with Taylor logging 27 percent, according to the latest WPRI/Providence Journal poll. But nearly one third of voters remain undecided, and a small percent of voters support Moderate candidate William Gilbert and Libertarian candidate Tony Jones, who have a combined 4.2 percent of the support.

 

Cianci comeback vs. Elorza entrance 

Independent candidate and former mayor of Providence Vincent “Buddy” Cianci is seeking to be elected back into his old seat, but Democrat and former housing court judge Jorge Elorza and Republican Daniel Harrop ’76 MD’79 hope to keep him out. While Elorza has run on a platform of progressive policy ideas, Cianci has been gaining supporters by emphasizing the accomplishments of his former administration over the 22 years he was mayor. Elorza and Harrop, who recently donated $1,000 to Elorza’s campaign and announced Monday that he will vote for Elorza, have both emphasized Cianci’s felony convictions and the notoriety of his former administration as reasons to keep Cianci from returning to the office. The new mayor will take over from Angel Taveras, who ran an unsuccessful bid earlier this year for the Democratic party’s nomination for governor.

 

Decision for District 4

After Former House Speaker Gordon Fox, D-Providence, vacated his seat over the summer, two candidates launched campaigns to represent District 4 in the General Assembly.  Aaron Regunberg ’12, founder of the Providence Student Union, is running as the Democratic candidate against Independent Ethan Gyles.

Gyles is a member of a coalition of Independent candidates running for offices in the General Assembly. The coalition was formed in order to support one another’s Indepedent campaigns in a historically Democratic legislative body.

 

Seats across the state 

Seth Magaziner ’06, the Democratic candidate, and Ernie Almonte, an Independent candidate, are competing against one another to replace outgoing General Treasurer Raimondo. Magaziner is a financial consultant, while Almonte is an adjunct lecturer of public policy at the University.

The latest WPRI/Providence Journal poll places Magaziner ahead of Almonte by 12 percentage points.

Democrat Nellie Gorbea, a former deputy secretary of state from 2002 to 2006 and the former executive director of HousingWorks RI is running against Republican candidate John Carlevale for the office, which is currently held by Ralph Mollis. Gorbea is currently up by 14 percentage points, according to the poll.

Attourney General Peter Kilmartin is running for reelection to his office against Republican challenger Dawson Hodgson, a former state senator, and currently holds a 14-percentage-point lead, according to the poll.