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Rhode Island treasurer switches to congressional race

January 26, 2022 GMT

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Rhode Island General Treasurer Seth Magaziner said Wednesday that instead of running for governor as he had previously announced, he would instead seek the state’s seat in Congress being vacated by U.S. Rep. Jim Langevin.

The Democrat said in a statement that he thinks he can prevent the seat from being taken by a Republican.

“Every day, Republicans in Washington demonstrate they care more about doing Donald Trump’s bidding than they do about defending the constitution or delivering results for working families. It’s critical Rhode Island Democrats field a proven general election candidate who can prevent the Republicans from taking back this seat in Congress,” he said.

Magaziner has been Rhode Island’s treasurer since 2015. He announced in September that he would challenge incumbent Democratic Gov. Dan McKee.

Former state representative and one-time chair of the Rhode Island Democratic Party Ed Pacheco, and Omar Bah, executive director of The Refugee Dream Center in Providence, have also announced they are seeking the Democratic nomination.

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Former Republican state Rep. Robert Lancia, a retired Navy chaplain, had said he was running before Langevin announced his retirement. He lost to Langevin in 2020. State Sen. Jessica de la Cruz said she is also considering a run for the GOP nomination.

Langevin announced Jan. 18 that he would not seek reelection. Chair of the House Armed Services subcommittee handling cyber issues, he has represented a district covering western Rhode Island since 2001. He is the first quadriplegic to serve in the U.S. House of Representatives.