Republicans

It was an improbable tableaux that unfolded in a hotel overlooking Lake Champlain in Burlington, Vermont, on the afternoon of May 24, 2001: A man so unassuming he was known as `Geesum Jim’, from a state of scant consequence in American politics, changed the course of the most powerful government on earth merely by saying he no longer believed in the Republican Party he grew up in.

That was the day then-U.S. Sen. James M. Jeffords, universally known as ``Jim’’ stood in a hotel ballroom and told the world why he was leaving the Republican Party to caucus with U.S. Senate Democrats.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Catherine Taylor on Monday launched her Republican campaign for lieutenant governor by vowing to use the office as a bully pulpit for improving the state's economic climate.

Taylor is a former aide to the late senator John Chafee, and she stepped down last week as head of the state Division of Elderly Affairs. Speaking outside the Business Innovation Factory in Providence's Olneyville section, Taylor was joined by her family and other Republicans, including gubernatorial candidates Allan Fung and Ken Block, in formally launching her campaign.

RIPR FILE

Republican gubernatorial candidate Ken Block touted his status as a political outsider, while GOP rival Allan Fung used a televised debate Tuesday to highlight his experience as the mayor of Cranston. The forum was sponsored by the Providence Journal and Channel 12.

Fung and Block each argued that their separate backgrounds make them qualified to put Rhode Island on a stronger path to the future. Block said his business experience and distance from politics makes him the better choice.

The Rhode Island Republican Party is backing up the GOP’s two gubernatorial candidates in saying that the state pension dispute should be resolved in court.  Two of the state’s leading Democrats still support the push for a settlement between the two sides

A proposed pension settlement unveiled in February was cast in doubt Monday when one of six groups that have to offer initial approval rejected the deal. State GOP chairman Mark Smiley said he agrees with his party’s gubernatorial candidates that the pension conflict should be decided in court.

Whither Clay Pell’s campaign for governor? RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay has some thoughts.

How do you know your campaign is in trouble: When your car is getting more attention than your ideas.

That’s what’s happening to the infant campaign of Clay Pell, who would like to be our next governor.

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