Mark Smiley

Ian Donnis / RIPR

State GOP chairman Mark Smiley says his party "absolutely" intends to run a candidate against US senator Jack Reed next year.

A few politically active Republicans privately say they consider a challenge against Reed -- or the other Democrats in Rhode Island's congressional delegation -- an utter waste of time. Resources would be better used, they say, in trying to build the 11-member GOP presence in the 113-member General Assembly.

If April is the cruelest month, as T.S. Eliot wrote, perhaps it's due to the chilly weather greeting the start of the baseball season. Welcome back to my weekly column. Your thoughts and tips are always welcome at idonnis (at) ripr (dot) org. Let's get to it.

Welcome back to my weekly column. Spring is starting to pop, and there's never a shortage of news hereabouts, so let's get to it. As always, your thoughts and tips are welcome at idonnis (at) ripr (dot) org.

RI GOP Deadlocked on Vote for Party Chair

Mar 22, 2013
Rhode Island Republican Party

Rhode Island Republican State Central Committee failed last night to elect a new Party Chair for the 2014 cycle. The vote was invalidated after one more vote was counted than there were delegates registered, despite double-checking systems.

According to outgoing Chair Mark Zaccaria, the crowd of delegates created a level of chaos at the meeting. And the race was close enough that each vote was crucial; contenders Dr. Daniel Harrop of Providence and Mr. Mark Smiley of Warren received 93 and 94 votes, respectively.

The Rhode Island Republican Party will select its next chairman when GOP activists gather Thursday evening in Cranston. The GOP has wrestled with turnover in the chairman’s position in recent years.

Warren businessman Mark Smiley and Providence psychiatrist Daniel Harrop are competing to be the next state party chairman. They’re running to succeed former congressional candidate Mark Zaccaria, who announced plans to step down last year.