Congressman Jim Langevin won his office 12 years ago, emerging from a four-way Democratic primary that included some young guy named Angel Taveras. The Warwick Democrat, whose most serious current challenger is Narragansett businessman Michael Riley, doesn’t want to leave Congress any time soon.
During a taping of an interview set for broadcast at 6:40 and 8:40 am Friday, I asked Langevin if there is a point at which he doesn’t plan to seek re-election.
“Right now, I want to continue to fight for the working families in Rhode Island,” said Langevin, who rivals First District Congressman David Cicilline as an on-message machine. “Fighting for the middle class, getting people the opportunities that I’ve had is something that I’ve always believed in.”
Is there a point at which 10 terms, 20 terms is too much?
“Well, I want to continue to serve as long as the people of Rhode Island want me to serve. This isn’t my seat. I’m just a custodian of this office; The seat belongs to the people of Rhode Island, and I want to serve as long as they want me to be there.”
(Nice rhetoric. But some potential candidates, like Warwick Mayor Scott Avedisian, are unlikely to run for the CD2 seat with Langevin still engendering broad sympathy from his vote-rich electoral base in the state’s second-largest city.)
As Langevin notes, seniority is important in Congress. He says his length of service in gaining value through his spots on the House Armed Services and Intelligence committees.
Langevin also guests this week on RIPR’s Political Roundtable, due to air Friday at 5:40 and 7:40 am.