Seth Magaziner ’06, the general treasurer of Rhode Island and Democratic candidate for the state’s 2nd Congressional District seat in the United States House of Representatives, defeated Republican Allan Fung on Tuesday night.projections from WPRI-12. The Associated Press called the race for Magaziner shortly before 11 p.m. Fung conceded to Magaziner around 9:45 p.m. at a campaign event. Magaziner declared victory on Twitter around 10:30 p.m., following a speech at his campaign’s party. His win means that Ocean State Democrats have managed to stave off recent GOP advances in the district, which covers western Rhode Island and parts of Providence.
As of 11:55 p.m. Tuesday night, Magaziner led with 50.3% of the vote, with Fung trailing at 46.9%, with 99% of votes counted. Overall turnout for the state — which also includes the 1st Congressional District, represented by David Cicilline ’83 — stood at 43% as of 7:45 p.m., a decrease from the 2020 turnout of 64.1% and the 2018 midterms, which saw a voter turnout rate of 48.4%.
“We were behind in every single poll,” Magaziner said at a victory speech. “Thank you for not giving up.”
“You have my commitment that I will fight hard for our state,” Magaziner added. “I will fight to make it easier for working people to get ahead, I will fight to bring Rhode Island values to Washington.”
The closeness of the race reflects shifting political dynamics in the district, which has until recently been considered a Democratic stronghold for over 30 years. Throughout the campaign for CD2, the race received attention from national Democrats as a potential cause for concern, according to the New York Times. In recent months, polls have repeatedly indicated Fung’s strength among Rhode Island voters.
Magaziner’s victory was the culmination of a long and often contentious race for the seat. Following outgoing Representative Jim Langevin’s announcement that he would not be seeking reelection in mid-January, several candidates declared their candidacies for the position. After securing their parties’ respective nominations, Fung and Magaziner competed in a contentious race often tinged by national grievances.
Fung repeatedly accused Magaziner of siding with policies that he believes have caused persistent inflation and have driven up the cost of living in the Ocean State and nationwide, The Herald previously reported. Magaziner took a similar approach over the course of the campaign, making the case that Fung’s election would increase the likelihood of a Republican-dominated House which might curtail abortion rights, cut social security and undermine American democracy.
Magaziner campaigned on protecting voting and abortion rights, lowering prices for fuel and prescription drugs and implementing gun control legislation, including a ban on assault-style weapons. When he dropped out of the race for governor and declared his candidacy for RI-02 in January, he emphasized declining democratic norms as the impetus for his run.
“The fight to preserve our democracy is the most sacred obligation of this generation, and this is why I’ve decided to seek to represent the people of Rhode Island’s 2nd Congressional District in the United States House of Representatives," Magaziner said in a Jan. 26 press release.
“National Republicans like Donald Trump and Kevin McCarthy seek to divide America, undermine democracy and appeal to the most chaotic, hateful and dangerous elements of their party,” he added. “Rhode Island must do our part to ensure that they do not succeed.”