Incumbent congressmen face GOP challengers on Election Day
PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Rhode Island’s two representatives in the U.S. House say they’re asking voters for another term so they can continue to fight for the state.
Democratic Reps. James Langevin and David Cicilline said they feel they have unfinished business in Washington, whether that’s making health care and prescription drugs more affordable, rebuilding the nation’s infrastructure or trying to reduce gun violence.
Langevin faces Republican Salvatore Caiozzo on Tuesday, and Cicilline faces Republican Patrick Donovan.
Langevin, of Warwick, is seeking a 10th term to represent the 2nd Congressional District in western Rhode Island.
“I want to continue the fight on behalf of Rhode Island for a stronger middle class, better jobs with higher wages, affordable health care, quality education, the things that make a difference in people’s lives,” Langevin said in a recent interview.
Langevin is particularly proud of a bill he pushed for to strengthen career and technical education, and he would like to remain in Congress to help ensure it’s robustly implemented. He also won support for measures to provide better support for caregivers of veterans, to better protect people with disabilities as they travel, and to ensure climate change is addressed as part of the national security strategy.
He has prioritized protecting the national and economic security against cyberthreats as co-chairman of the Congressional Cybersecurity Caucus.
Caiozzo, a retired businessman from West Greenwich, ran for the seat in 2016 as an independent, finishing last. Caiozzo says that Rhode Island “deserves better” and that he wants to go to Washington to help its residents, particularly veterans, the elderly and the disabled.
He has told voters that he is neither left nor right, that he’s a moderate and that he could solve problems in Washington.
“I want to be the voice of Rhode Island in Washington,” Caiozzo said Wednesday.
Caiozzo wants to support the state’s fishing and farming industries, reduce federal intervention in state education policy and reform Social Security to ensure it’s fully funded.
Langevin has raised $1 million this election cycle and spent nearly $700,000, according to federal filings.
Caiozzo raised $5,000. He thinks Republican donors are focused more on Rhode Island’s gubernatorial race.
Cicilline, of Providence, is seeking his fifth term in Congress representing the 1st Congressional District, which covers the easternmost part of the state. He faces Donovan, a stay-at-home father of four grown children who lives in Newport.
Cicilline has a rising profile in the national Democratic Party. He plans to run for assistant Democratic leader if he is re-elected and his party retakes the House. He is outspoken in his criticism of the president on topics such as immigration and Russia.
Democrats will prioritize addressing the rising cost of health care, particularly prescription drugs, investing in infrastructure and reforming how money is spent in elections, Cicilline said. He is also trying to make college affordable.
“I’ve been able to deliver real results for Rhode Island, and I’d love to have the privilege of doing that for two more years,” he said. “I want to make sure Rhode Island’s voice is heard in Washington and continue to get things done for my constituents.”
A proposal Cicilline has been working on for years to help manufacturers was signed into law this year. It allows the federal government to designate defense manufacturing communities, to strengthen national security innovation.
Cicilline is proud he was able to help name a post office in Bristol after an Army Green Beret who was killed in Afghanistan, 1st Sgt. P. Andrew McKenna, and proud of successfully securing federal funding for local first responders and other groups.
Donovan has tried to cast himself as someone who would be more attuned to residents’ needs. He said he would prioritize lowering the cost of energy by using readily available renewable energy, to help working people who are struggling. He wants to pursue purchasing power from Hydro-Quebec.
He describes himself as an “environmental Republican” and said he’d change the way prescription drugs are disposed of, both to protect the environment and prevent misuse.
He says he would also work to lower the price of prescription drugs.
“You’re supposed to be of service to your congressional district, and you’re supposed to do good,” he said Wednesday. “My intention is to do no harm to my constituency.”
Cicilline has raised about $1.5 million this election cycle and spent $1.3 million, according to federal filings. Donovan said he hasn’t filed a federal report because he has raised less than $5,000.